COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS
February 14, 2021 at 07:30 JST
IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture--A strong earthquake hit off the coast of eastern Japan on Feb. 13, injuring dozens of people and triggering widespread power outages, but there appeared to be no major damage and no tsunami warning was issued.
The earthquake had a 7.3 magnitude, rising from a preliminary magnitude of 7.1, and its epicenter was off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture at a depth of 60 kilometers, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It shook buildings for some time after it hit, shortly after 11:00 p.m.
Houses and offices in the capital Tokyo, hundreds of kilometers away, also swayed and shook. No tsunami warning had been issued, the meteorological agency said.
At least two dozen people were injured, according to reports from a local news agency.
A Reuters cameraman on location in Fukushima said his 10th floor hotel room shook for some time. One man at the hotel was taken to hospital after falling and hitting his head on a door, the cameraman said.
Although injured, the man was still able to walk, the cameraman said.
Television footage also showed broken glass from shop fronts.
Some 950,000 households were initially without power, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told a briefing carried on public broadcaster NHK. The blackouts appeared to be concentrated in northeast Japan, including Fukushima and neighboring prefectures.
Video from public broadcaster NHK TV showed some pieces of a building wall had broken off and fallen to the ground, and pieces of glass were scattered at a store. Items fell off shelves because of the shaking, NHK said. NHK aerial footage showed a portion of a highway blocked by a landslide in Soma, a city in Fukushima Prefecture.
The extent of damage from the landslide was not immediately clear, Kato said.
There were no irregularities at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants, or at the Kahiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, owner Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
The utility also said there was no change in the radiation levels around its plants.
Kato said there were no irregularities at the Onagawa nuclear facility.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga headed into his office immediately after reports of the quake, and a crisis center was set up there. He said there were no reports of major injuries.
“We will continue to respond, putting human lives first,” Suga told reporters early Sunday.
The quake hit off of Fukushima just weeks before the 10th anniversary of a quake on March 11, 2011 that devastated northeast Japan and triggered a massive tsunami leading to the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century--one centered at the Fukushima No. 1 facility.
Experts warned of aftershocks over the next several days, including possibly larger quakes.
Some people were taking shelter at evacuation centers, and were being warned to practice social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
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