More than 100 injured in 7.3-magnitude quake off Japan’s Fukushima

Published February 14, 2021, 11:30 AM

by Bloomberg

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake off Fukushima in eastern Japan injured more than 100 people, authorities said Sunday, nearly a decade after the region suffered a devastating quake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

An evacuated family rests at a shelter set up in a sports arena in Soma, Fukushima prefecture on February 14, 2021, after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan’s east coast late on February 13. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

No casualties have been reported after the late-night quake in the Pacific, which did not trigger a tsunami, and no abnormalities were observed at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

But residents preparing to mark the 10th anniversary of the triple disaster said they were frightened by Saturday’s jolt — which the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said was considered an aftershock of the massive tremor on March 11, 2011.

“I was at home… the shaking was so strong I became truly afraid for my physical safety,” Masami Nakai, a municipal official in Soma city in northern Fukushima, told AFP.

Images posted online showed a car crushed by a rock lantern in the car park of a Shinto shrine, while another showed broken glass and items thrown from the shelves at a shop.

The disaster agency said 114 injuries — six classed as “serious” — were reported in the region and also around Tokyo, where the quake was felt strongly just after 11 pm on Saturday.

Authorities were assessing the impact of a landslide on a highway, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said, and aerial TV footage showed another landslide at a remote race circuit.

The government reported partial damage to eight structures, mostly houses, while local media said dozens of buildings had suffered broken ceilings and broken water pipes.

Kato warned residents about the possibility of strong aftershocks in the next week and further landslides due to heavy rain forecast.

“Particularly for the next two to three days, there might be very strong earthquakes,” Kato said.

Read more: Strong 7.3-quake rattles east Japan, no tsunami risk