Strong offshore quake east of Fukushima shakes Japan's northeastern coast

Strong offshore quake east of Fukushima shakes Japan's northeastern coast

A strong natural disaster hit off the coast of northeastern Japan, shaking Fukushima, Miyagi and other areas on Saturday night, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 11.23 p.m. local time (9.23 a.m. ET), was located 45.9 miles (73.9 kilometers) northeast of Namie, a coastal town 60 miles from Fukushima, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The quake hit off of Fukushima just weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011, quake that devastated northeastern Japan and triggered a massive tsunami that led to the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century, one centered at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

File folders and other items are seen scattered on the floor of the Hirono town office in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on February 13, 2021.

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Kato said that some trains in northeastern Japan had stopped running, and that other damage was still being checked.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was called to his office, and broadcaster NHK said the government would set up a special liaison office to coordinate with affected regions. It said crews did not detect radiation leaks or other abnormalities at the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

There were no immediate reports of significant damage, though local news broadcast images of a landslide on a highway. He said there were no reports of major injuries. Experts are warning of aftershocks over the next several days, including possibly larger quakes.

Fukushima nuclear plant operator TEPCO said in a tweet it was checking on the status of the facility, which melted down in the wake of the 2011 tsunami.

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