Strong earthquake hits Japan’s coast, causing blackouts by Reuters

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3/3 © Reuters. Earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture 2/3

By Chris Gallagher and Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) – A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck the eastern coast of Japan on Saturday, shaking buildings and causing widespread blackouts, but there appeared to be no major damage and there was no warning of tsunami. issued. The epicenter of the earthquake was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of 60 kilometers (36 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It struck at 11:08 pm local time (1408 GMT) and shook buildings in the capital Tokyo and elsewhere. No tsunami warning had been issued, the weather agency said. Some 950,000 families were initially without power, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said in a briefing by public broadcaster NHK. The blackouts appeared to be concentrated in northeast Japan, including Fukushima and neighboring prefectures. There were no irregularities at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants, or the Kahiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, said the owner of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings. The utility company also said there were no changes in radiation levels around its plants. Kato said there were no irregularities at the Fukushima Daini and Onagawa nuclear facilities. The earthquake occurred in Fukushima just weeks before the 10th anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake that devastated northeast Japan and triggered a massive tsunami that led to the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century, one centered on the Daiichi installation. Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the most seismically active areas in the world. Japan accounts for about 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

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