5/5 © Reuters. Strong earthquake hits the coast of Japan 2/5
By Sakura Murakami and Issei Kato IWAKI, Japan (Reuters) – The stench of alcohol filled the small bar on Sunday as Aoi Hoshino swept the glass of whiskey bottles shattered in a strong earthquake the night before, one that appeared to be an aftershock of a devastating earthquake that struck the Fukushima area in 2011. The magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck shortly before midnight on Saturday and cracked walls, smashed windows and triggered a landslide in Fukushima, the area closest to the epicenter. More than 100 people were injured. Hoshino, 46, swept the broken glass from about 20 broken whiskey bottles into a garbage bag at his bar on a side street in the city of Iwaki, about 200 km (124 miles) north of Tokyo and not far away. from the epicenter of the earthquake. “We were affected by this coronavirus pandemic, so we were eager to reopen our stores, and now this happens,” he said, referring to the locally declared state of emergency that he had closed his bar since January and was ready to lift. Monday. “It‘s just one thing after another.” The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake was believed to be a replica of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011 that triggered a tsunami, killing nearly 20,000 people across a wide swath of northeast Japan, and the accident Fukushima nuclear power station, the worst in the world. in 25 years. The agency warned of aftershocks for several days. Hoshino said the earthquake on Saturday brought back dire memories. “My body reacted immediately and I couldn’t stop shaking. My legs were shaking too, but I couldn’t measure whether it was safer to run out or stay inside, so I ended up doing a weird little dance,” he said. with a laugh. At least 121 people were injured, NHK national television said, including several who suffered fractures, but no deaths were reported. BUILDINGS ALSO IN TOKYO The local earthquake at 11:08 pm (1408 GMT) shook buildings in the Japanese capital Tokyo, cutting off power to hundreds of thousands of buildings in eastern and northeastern Japan. However, in the morning, power was restored for virtually everyone. Several thousand homes were left without water, forcing residents to line up with plastic jugs to get water from trucks. Although much of Iwaki appeared as usual, shingles had fallen from the front of at least one building, and the sound of broken glass being swept away echoed through various shops and restaurants. A small crack had opened in the wall of Noboru Endo’s hair salon, in the same place a wider one opened 10 years ago, but otherwise there was little damage. Endo, 64, said Saturday’s earthquake was no match for the 2011 earthquake, which lasted for several minutes and had aftershocks that lasted for weeks. “Almost all of us have returned to life as usual, except for some areas that are still badly affected,” he said of reconstruction efforts in the area. There were no tsunami or reports of irregularities at any nuclear power plant. NHK reported that around 160 ml (5 ounces) of water had leaked from a pool of spent fuel in the Fukushima Dai-Ni reactor, but that this did not pose any danger. Shinkansen bullet train service to much of northern Japan was suspended due to track damage. Service along one line was not expected to be restored until at least Tuesday. The power outages did not affect any of Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE 🙂 COVID-19 vaccines that arrived on Friday for vaccines to begin this week, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a news conference Sunday in the morning. Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and Japan accounts for about 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.