Japan: 7.4 Magnitude earthquake causes mass evacuation, blackout and derailment

Thursday, March 17, 2022


A 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Japan cases derailment of bullet train. The disruption of electricity causes havoc in northern Japan. The residents and officials in the country’s northeast were still trying to assess the damage early on Thursday, after the 7.4-magnitude quake that hit shortly before midnight.  The Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami advisory for coastal areas of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.  Miyagi is known for adventure trails and hiking while, and Fukushima is noted for Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

A Tohoku bullet train has derailed on a stretch of track linking Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, East Japan Railway Co said, although there were no reported injuries. Tokyo Electric Power Co said around 2 million buildings in its service area lost electricity, although power was restored by the morning.

Nuclear regulators said a fire alarm went off at Fukushima’s Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, although it was later determined there was no fire. Water pumps used to cool spent fuel pools at the Dai-Ni plant were also halted, before coming back online.

Refinery company Eneos Holdings Inc said operations at its oil-fired Negishi plant were halted. The intensity of the shaking was estimated at an upper 6 on Japan’s shindo scale of 7 in parts of Miyagi prefecture, according to JMA. A tsunami of 20 centimetres was recorded in the prefecture and residents of some towns were told to evacuate, the broadcaster NHK reported. 

A tsunami warning for waves of up to a metre in parts of northeast Japan was lifted in the early hours of Thursday, after authorities recorded water levels up to 30cm higher than usual in some areas. There are multiple smaller jolts continued to hit the region throughout the night and morning on Thursday.

Two people were killed in the quake, one in the Fukushima region and a second in neighbouring Miyagi, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, with over 90 people injured across several regions.

The quake struck at a depth of 60 kilometres (37 miles) off the Fukushima coast and was preceded minutes earlier by another strong 6.1-magnitude shake in the same area, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said. The night-time shaking came just days after Japan marked the 11th anniversary of a massive quake that triggered a deadly tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

The quake-affected area was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that killed more than 16,000 and triggered a nuclear crisis in Fukushima. The disaster led to the shutdown of all of Japan’s nuclear plants, forcing the country to rely on other sources of energy such as coal and natural gas.

The latest quake also triggered a tsunami warning, which was later lifted and appeared to be less powerful according to magnitude readings.

Toyota Motor Corp said it suspended operations at plants in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. Memory-chip maker Kioxia Holdings Corp said some systems had been halted at one of its plants and it was looking into possible impact on its production.

The overnight quake produced strong shaking in the coastal northeast, where items were thrown from the shelves of convenience stores and bookcases toppled over in homes. The jolts also rattled the capital and temporarily plunged parts of Tokyo and other areas into darkness.

Around two million homes lost power in the capital and elsewhere in the immediate aftermath of the quake, but it was progressively restored throughout the night. Around 35,600 homes in the Miyagi and Fukushima areas were still without power on Thursday morning, electricity firm TEPCO said.

Share On:

« Back to Page

Related Posts



Subscribe to our Newsletters

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World'sPrivacy Notice.

Jan 05
January 5, 2024 - January 7, 2024
Jan 18
January 18, 2024 - January 21, 2024
Jan 24
January 24, 2024 - January 28, 2024
Jan 25
January 25, 2024 - January 28, 2024