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Friday, 7 December 2012

Japan Earth Quake in 2012 December Latest News Photos Fukushima Disaster Tsunami Death People

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'Strong quake hits off Japan near Fukushima disaster zone'
TOKYO (Reuters) - A strong quake centred off northeastern japan shook buildings as far away as Tokyo on Friday and triggered a one-metre tsunami in an area devastated by last year's Fukushimadisaster, but there were no reports of deaths or serious damage.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and thousands of coastal residents were ordered to evacuate to higher ground, but the tsunami warning was lifted two hours after the tremor struck.
The March 2011 earthquake and following tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years when the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant was destroyed, leaking radiation into the sea and air.
Workers at the plant were ordered to move to safety after Friday's quake. Tokyo Electric Power Co , the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, reported no irregularities at its nuclear plants.
Japan Earth Quake in 2012 December Latest News Photos Fukushima Disaster Tsunami Death People
Japan Earth Quake

 All but two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors have been idled since the Fukushima disaster as the government reviews safety.
The quake measured a "lower 5" in Miyagi prefecture on Japan's scale of one to seven, meaning there might be some damage to roads and houses that are less quake resistant.
The scale measures the amount of shaking and in that sense gives a better idea of possible damage than the magnitude. The quake registered a 4 in Tokyo
The one-metre tsunami hit at Ishinomaki, in Miyagi, at the centre of the devastation from the March 2011 disaster. All Miyagi trains halted operations and Sendai airport, which was flooded by the tsunami last year, closed its runway.
Five people in the prefecture were slightly injured.
"I was in the centre of the city the very moment the earthquake struck. I immediately jumped into the car and started running away towards the mountains. I'm still hiding inside the car," said Ishinomaki resident Chikako Iwai.
"...I have the radio on and they say the cars are still stuck in the traffic. I'm planning to stay here for the next couple of hours."
There are vast areas of Ishinomaki that still have not been cleaned up since last year's tsunami. Many houses lie in ruins, full of rubble. Workers by the shore still sort through thousands of cars that were swamped and destroyed. The cars are piled up and being taken apart for parts and scrap.
Japan Earth Quake in 2012 December Latest News Photos Fukushima Disaster Tsunami Death
Japan Quake

Narita airport outside Tokyo was back in action after a brief closure for safety checks. There were small tsunamis, measuring in the centimetres, elsewhere near the epicentre.
Last year's quake, which measured 9.0, triggered fuel-rod meltdowns at Fukushima, causing radiation leakage, contamination of food and water and mass evacuations. Much of the area is still deserted.
The government declared in December that the disaster was under control.
"Citizens are now escaping to designated evacuation centres and moving to places on higher ground," office worker Naoki Ara said in Soma, 30 km (18 miles) from the Fukushima-Daiichi plant.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda cancelled campaigning in Tokyo ahead of a December 16 election and was on his way back to his office, but there was no immediate plan to hold a special cabinet meeting.
Public spending on quake-proofing buildings is a big election issue.
Japanese were posting photos of their TV screens with tsunami warnings on Facebook, asking each other whether they're safe, confirming their whereabouts.
"It shook for a long time here in Tokyo, are you guys all right?" posted Eriko Hamada, enquiring about the safety of her friends.
Phone lines were overloaded and it was difficult to contact residents of Miyagi.
"Owing to the recent earthquake, phone lines are very busy, please try again later," the operator said.
The yen rose against the dollar and the euro on the news, triggering some safe-haven inflows into the Japanese currency.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, with a tremor occurring at least every five minutes.
Located in the "Ring of Fire" arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches partly encircling the Pacific Basin, the country accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater.
Tokyo, with a population of 12 million, sits on the junction of four tectonic plates: the Eurasian, North American, Philippine and Pacific. The sudden bending or breaking of any plate can trigger an earthquake.
Japan quake: Tsunami warning lifted, 5 injured 
The Japan Meteorological Agency has lifted a tsunami warning issued for northeastern Japan after a strong earthquake centred off the coast shook buildings as far away as Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK said.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the US Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of deaths or serious damage.
A one metre-high tsunami hit northeast Japan on Friday, after a powerful undersea quake struck off the coast which was devastated in last year's quake-tsunami disaster.
Meteorologists said the wave swept ashore at just after 6 pm in Ishinomaki, a city badly hit by the 2011 tsunami that wrecked a large swathe of the northeast coast, killing thousands.
Japan Earth Quake in 2012 December Latest News Photos Fukushima Disaster Tsunami People
Japan- Tsunami Warning Lifted

There were no immediate reports of any fatalities after the 7.3-magnitude quake that was followed by a 6.2 aftershock, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Residents of at least one town, Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture, were advised to get to safety, with reports suggesting other towns were also affected.
"We are now calling on people to evacuate to higher ground," town official Ryuichi Omori told AFP:
"It's already pitch dark here. Phones — both landlines and mobiles — are not going through now, which makes it difficult to see people's movement.
"The quake was not so big although it felt very (strong). It was not big at all compared with last year's earthquake. The town office is now setting up a disaster taskforce."
A presenter on state broadcaster NHK repeatedly told viewers to get to safety after the initial tremors, which set Tokyo buildings swaying violently.
"Remember last year's quake and tsunami," he said. "Call on your neighbours and flee to higher ground now!"
NHK, quoting the national meteorological agency, said the tsunami was expected to hit the coast of Iwate at 5:40 pm, Fukushima at 5:50 pm, and Aomori and Ibaraki at 6:00 pm.
The 7.3 quake struck 36 kilometres under the Pacific, USGS said.
The epicentre was 284 kilometres east of Sendai, or 459 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, according to the USGS.
NHK said the Japan Meteorological Agency had issued a tsunami warning, one notch lower than a tsunami alert, for the Pacific coast of Iwate, Fukushima, Aomori and Ibaraki prefectures.
There was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami, US monitors based in Hawaii said. Officials in both Indonesia and the Philippines south of Japan said there was no threat of a localised tsunami.
Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power told AFP there were no reports of any problems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
"No abnormalities have been recorded on instruments at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's six reactors," a TEPCO spokesman said.
"All workers were ordered to take shelter inside buildings at the Fukushima plant.
"No abnormalities were confirmed with the radiation monitoring posts at the Fukushima plant. No abnormalities were seen with the water processing facilities."
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was heading to his office where he would be monitoring the situation, Jiji Press said.
Japan Railways East temporarily suspended Shinkansen bullet train services to check any damage, Jiji said, while Haneda Airport near central Tokyo was reported to be operating normally.
Yen rises against euro and dollar after Japan earthquake
LONDON: The yen rose against the dollar and the euro on Friday after a powerful earthquake struck Tokyo, triggering some safe-haven inflows into the Japanese currency. 

The dollar fell to a session low of 82.175 on trading platform EBS, from around 82.35 beforehand. It then recovered to trade at 82.30 yen, still down 0.1 percent on the day. 

The euro also fell to a session low of 106.21 yen with traders citing selling by macro-funds after news of the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami warning. It was last trading at 106.45 yen, down 0.4 percent on the day. 

The euro's losses against the yen also dragged the single currency to a nine-day low against the dollar of $1.29185.

Japan Earth Quake in 2012 Latest News Photos Fukushima Disaster Tsunami Death People
Japan Strong Earth Quake

Tsunami warning lifted for strong Japan earthquake

The warning was issued after a magnitude 7.3 quake struck offshore at 5:18 p.m. (0818 GMT) Friday, swaying buildings across much of Japan. There were no immediate reports of serious damage but two people were reportedly hurt.
After the quake, authorities issued a warning that a tsunami potentially as high as 2 meters (2.2 yards) could hit. Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi, reported that a tsunami of 1 meter (1 yard) hit at 6:02 p.m. (0902 GMT).
About two hours after the quake struck, the tsunami warning was cancelled.

Strong earthquake shakes northeastern Japan, no injuries reported
TOKYO, JAPAN (AP) -- There have been no immediate reports of major damage in Japan, after a strong earthquake struck off the northeastern coast.
The Japan Meteorological Agency says the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture.
The epicenter was 6.2 miles beneath the seabed. It's the same region that was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami last year.
One city in the region (Ishinomaki) has reported that a small tsunami of about three feet hit about 45 minutes after the quake.
But, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there's no risk of a widespread tsunami. Public television broadcaster NHK reports at least two people were injured, though officials have not confirmed any numbers.
Shortly before the earthquake struck, NHK television broke off regularprogramming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the coast to flee to higher ground.  

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