Earthquake strikes northeast Japan, shakes Tokyo

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

An illustration to indicate the approximate location of the epicentre (orange square).

An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck Japan at 2:46 UTC (11:46 am local time), off the eastern coast of northern Honshu, 95 km (60 miles) from Sendai. Buildings in Tokyo, 350 km (220 miles) from the epicenter, were swayed by the trembler and trains were shut down. A tsunami bulletin was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and small tsunamis were observed thereafter. (1) (2).

Reactions and effects

As a precaution, the Tohoku Electric nuclear power plants have been shut down.

Electric supply ceased due to the earthquake in the Miyagi Prefecture and in its southern neighbor, Fukushima Prefecture, and 17,000 households in total have been affected and lost power.

Railway transports including Tōhoku Shinkansen have been stopped. Sendai Airport has been temporally closed.

No casualties have been reported. So far over 69 people have been injured in Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima, Saitama and Tokyo Prefectures including 26 people who have been injured due to falling roof in an indoor swimming pool in Sendai. 687 houses in Tohoku region were destroyed to some extent. In addition, a house by wood in Saitama Prefecture. A female resident was trapped by this broken house and rescued after 50 minutes.