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Tuesday, 22nd November 2016
In General Japan News,

Fukushima avoids tsunami after 7.4-magnitude quake

Tsunami advisories put in place in the Fukushima area of Japan in the wake of a 7.4-magnitude earthquake have been lifted.

Originally, there were fears there would be life-threatening waves hitting the coastline after the earthquake that struck at 6am local time (9pm GMT) yesterday (November 21st).

The waves that did reach the shore were much smaller than predicted, however, meaning only minor injuries were reported.

Thousands of people did evacuate the area as a precaution, with the potential for disaster well-known, after a quake and accompanying quake struck the same region in 2011, leaving 18,000 people dead and causing much destruction.

Experts at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said that the most recent quake was in fact an aftershock of this previous event.

They also said that the tsunami risk was now over, although slight changes in sea level may be perceptible.

People in Tokyo, some 100 miles away from Fukushima, could feel tremors from the quake, with buildings shaking for around 30 seconds.

As a precaution, many people headed for higher ground while the warnings were in place, ships sailed away from harbours in Fukushima, and Nissan suspended work at its car engine factory in the prefecture.

Despite a one-metre high wave making landfall near the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Yoshihide Suga, cabinet chief secretary, said that it did not cause any problems.

The site is still cooling after all reactors were shut down in 2011 and a close eye is being kept on activity at the plant.

Elsewhere, a 60-centimetre wave struck Onahama Port in the prefecture and a 90-centimetre one in Soma, the NHK broadcaster reported.

Tsunami defences constructed after the 2011 earthquake mean that flooding is less widespread and residents can return to their homes.

Due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is struck by around 20 per cent of quakes of a magnitude of six or above every year.

Related news stories:
Chernobyl and Fukushima to be monitored from space (28th August 2013)
Japan?s government removes evacuation orders on Fukushima (12th July 2016)
Fukushima mothers perform at Carnegie Hall (21st October 2013)
Fukushima residents suffer obesity due to outside-ban (2nd January 2013)