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26 February
Friday

Asia

Powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolts Tohoku area

People were reported hurt in Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama and Chiba prefectures, but no serious injuries were confirmed

Photo: Kyodo

/NOVOSTIVL/ The government on Sunday scrambled to gather information after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 struck northeastern Japan late the previous night, leaving at least 100 people injured and causing widespread blackouts.

No tsunami accompanied the quake which occurred at 11:07 p.m. Saturday and no issues were found at nuclear power plants in the affected region. There have been no deaths reported.

According to a Kyodo News tally, more than 100 people were injured in Miyagi, Fukushima and several other prefectures.

Cabinet members met in the morning and were updated on the extent of damage caused by the quake, which registered upper 6 on Japan's seismic intensity scale of 7 in parts of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures - areas devastated by a catastrophic quake and tsunami almost 10 years ago that triggered nuclear meltdowns.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at the meeting the government has received reports of many injuries but no deaths.

The blackouts, which affected about 900,000 households at one point, were largely resolved by the morning with the exception of several hundred homes in Fukushima Prefecture.

A total of 64 evacuation centers have been set up in Fukushima and about 200 people are taking shelter, according to the Fukushima prefectural government.

East Japan Railway Co. said Tohoku shinkansen bullet train services between Nasushiobara Station in Tochigi Prefecture and Morioka Station in Iwate Prefecture have been suspended.

The Yamagata shinkansen also halted services, as did the Akita shinkansen between Morioka and Akita stations.

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