A strong, 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck near Japan's Fukushima prefecture, triggering a tsunami warning and knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of people in Tokyo and the surrounding areas.
The massive quake shook buildings more than 250 kilometres away in parts of Tokyo, causing a loss of power to more than two million buildings, 700,000 of those being in the Japanese capital.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the earthquake struck at around around 11.36pm local time.
Authorities have warned those living in Fukushima, Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures to expect aftershocks and residents in some Miyagi towns have been told to evacuate.
Authorities issued a tsunami warning of as high as one metre for northern Japan, with waves of 20 centimetres already reported in some places.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that there have been no abnormalities at nuclear power plants.
#NRAJapan informed the IAEA that a 7.3 magnitude #earthquake occurred ~60 km off the eastern coast of Japan at 14:36 UTC. The safety status of nuclear facilities in the area will be inspected and further updates will be provided to the IAEA, the authority added.— IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 16, 2022
Public broadcaster NHK has reported one death and 69 people have been injured.
“I felt two big quakes and saw parked cars bouncing up and down because the ground was shaking,” a security guard at Soma city office in the Fukushima Prefecture told the Japan Times.
Another security guard in the Miyagi Prefecture said the second jolt lasted nearly one minute.
The earthquake has derailed a bullet train, with about 100 passengers on board, but East Japan Railway Co. has confirmed that no injuries have been reported in the crash.
#JapanEarthquake NHK broadcast 2:55 am Japan time / 10:55 am PDT— Moon To Mars (@MoonToMarsQuest) March 16, 2022
Reported 60 kilometer depth, #TsunamiWarning and advisory in effect to stay away from coastal beaches. No injuries reported on #BulletTrain that derailed, 1 car off. Power restored to Fukushima Power Plant pumps. pic.twitter.com/6lBhg098WE
Reports say the train derailed between Fukushima Station in Fukushima and Shiroishizao Station in Miyagi.
While the full scale of damage is still unclear, Kyodo News has reported 'many' injuries in Fukushima, citing the local fire department.
The Japanese government have now set up a task force in the wake of the natural disaster, with Prime Minister Kishida instructing officials to begin rescue operations in cooperation with government ministries and municipalities.
Parts of the land have never recovered from the effects of the tsunami, but as recent images have shown, there have also clearly been some remarkable efforts to help bring it back to life.
The earthquake hit Japan on 11 March 2011 at 2.46pm local time. It was one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded at around 9.0 on the Richter scale.
It led to waves of up to 56ft-high that broke onto towns and cities. They decimated buildings, stripped houses down to their foundations, left ships stranded hundreds of miles inland and killed an estimated 16,000 people.
A further 2,572 remain missing while another 6,000 were injured.
The 2011 disaster led to the shutdown of all of Japan’s nuclear plants.
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