December 11, 2013
Earthquake of magnitude 7.6 in Japan, Fukushima plant undamaged
A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck 231 miles east of the Japanese island of Honshu today, the US Geological Survey reported.
A US Pacific tsunami warning center said there was no destructive widespread tsunami threat following the quake.
The operator of Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant said there was no damage or spike in radiation levels at the station after a large earthquake struck in the ocean east of Japan, triggering a small tsunami.
A spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), operator of Fukushima, said some workers had been ordered to evacuate to higher ground after the quake, but that there was no damage or change in readings at radiation monitoring posts around the plant.
Ships were seen leaving a port south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, where three reactors had meltdowns in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling and power, as a precaution after the tremor. Buildings shook as far away as Tokyo, 230 km south of the nuclear plant.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a "yellow" warning shortly after the 1710 GMT quake that a small tsunami would reach the northeastern Japanese coast.
A yellow warning is issued when a tsunami is not expected to exceed a height of 1 metre (3 feet), far smaller than the wave that hit the Fukushima plant in 2011 and devastated large swathes of Japan's eastern seaboard.