Residents in Fukushima and Miyagi were cleaning their houses after a restless night following a violent 7.4-magnitude earthquake that smashed furniture, knocked out electricity, and killed four people off the northern Japanese beaches.
The area was wracked by a terrible 9.0 earthquake and tsunami 11 years ago, which resulted in nuclear plant meltdowns and huge radiation spilling into the atmosphere, rendering certain areas uninhabitable.
Four individuals died in the quake, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, and the reason of their deaths is being probed, while 107 others were injured. According to Kyodo News, a guy in his 60s died after falling from the second story of his house while attempting to leave, while a man in his 70s panicked and suffered a heart attack.
The Japan Meteorological Agency withdrew its low-risk tsunami warning for the beaches of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures early Thursday. In Ishinomaki, roughly 390 kilometers (240 miles) northeast of Tokyo, tsunami waves as high as 30 centimeters (11 inches) hit the beach.
The quake’s magnitude was raised to 7.4 from 7.3, and the depth was reduced from 60 kilometers (37 miles) to 56 kilometers by the agency (35 miles).
In the daylight on Thursday, residents in hard-hit regions discovered additional damages, cleaning their houses, replacing fallen furniture and appliances, and picking up shattered dishes and glass.
Employees at a hotel in Yabuki town, Fukushima prefecture, were starting to clean up after a wall was shattered, the entrance door was flung out of position, and dishes were broken.
Mineyuki Otake, the hotel’s president, told NHK, “I don’t even know where to begin.”
Broken walls of a department store building collapsed to the ground, and shards of windows were thrown on the pavement near the main train station in Fukushima city, the inland prefectural headquarters. Roads were fractured, and water gushed from subterranean pipes.
Residents in Soma, Iitate, and numerous other coastal towns in Fukushima that had their water systems destroyed received new water on Thursday.
Furniture and appliances were also shattered to the floor in Fukushima residences. Cosmetics and other items from convenience stores toppled from shelves and were strewn over the floor. An electric pole nearly toppled in Yokohama, near Tokyo.
Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which is being decommissioned, discovered some tanks holding treated radioactive water were out of alignment due to the rattling, and what could have been a steel beam fell from a roof of the No. 4 reactor building, which has no fuel inside, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings.
A fire alarm went off in the turbine building of the No. 5 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, according to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, although there was no real fire. Water pumps for the spent fuel cooling pool at two of Fukushima Daini’s four reactors momentarily stopped working, but were eventually restarted. The Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, which survived the tsunami of 2011, is also scheduled for decommissioning.
According to the Tohoku Electric Power Co., which serves the region, more than 2.2 million homes were temporarily without power in 14 prefectures, including the Tokyo area, but power was restored in most places by the morning, with the exception of about 37,000 homes in the hardest hit Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.
The earthquake struck eastern Japan, including Tokyo, causing buildings to wobble severely.
The majority of East Japan Railway Co.’s train services have been halted for safety reasons, according to the company. Long lineups developed outside key stations as commuters waited for trains to resume service late Wednesday, but trains in Tokyo resumed normal service Thursday morning.
The tremor caused a Tohoku Shinkansen express train to partially derail between Fukushima and Miyagi, but no one was wounded, said to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
“We are doing everything we can in terms of rescue efforts and putting people’s lives first,” said Matsuno, the senior spokesperson.
For the next week, he advised inhabitants in the impacted areas to exercise particular vigilance due to the possibility of strong aftershocks.