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Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake hits Japan

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit the northeastern coast of Japan on Tuesday at 6 A.M. local time, affecting the cooling functions at a power plant and causing a small tsunami of approximately 1.4 meters (4.5 feet) at Sendai port in Miyagi district. The earthquake is said to have been the strongest one to hit Fukushima district since the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is reporting this earthquake as an aftershock of the 2011 event.

After the powerful earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued by the JMA, urging the residents in coastal areas to evacuate to higher ground. More than 3,000 people fled to evacuation centers in Fukushima. A total of 17 people in the Fukushima, Tokyo, Miyagi, and Chiba districts were injured as of Tuesday afternoon. No one has been reported dead or missing.

On the coast, all of Japan’s nuclear power plants are shut down in order to avoid the catastrophic incident from 2011, when Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was knocked down by a tsunami, spilling radiation into the sea and air. The clean-up operation for this catastrophe is still underway today. The Fukushima Daini Plant, which faced troubles with its cooling system on early Tuesday morning, was restarted within about an hour and a half.  No other damages have been recorded in any of the other power plants.

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