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7.4-magnitude quake rattles Japan

[ 2011-04-08 10:33]     字号 [] [] []  
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A major earthquake shook the northeast of Japan late on Thursday, and a tsunami warning was issued for a part of the coast already devastated by last month's massive quake and tsunami that crippled a nuclear power plant.

More than 30 people were injured, according to Japan's National Police Agency, at press time.

The 7.4-magnitude quake, which struck at 11.32 pm in Japan, halted operations at some thermal power plants in Aomori and Akita prefectures, Kyodo news agency reported.

No damage was detected at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant and workers had been evacuated without reports of any injuries, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said.

Engineers, who sealed a leak this week that had allowed highly radioactive water into the sea, are pumping nitrogen into one reactor to prevent the risk of a hydrogen gas explosion, and want to start the process in another two reactors.

Nuclear power stations in Ibaraki prefecture were operating normally after the quake, while at the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi prefecture, which has been suspended, two external power supply units among three have failed, according to the nuclear regulator.

Japan is struggling to bring the crippled Fukushima plant under control after the 9-magnitude quake on March 11 and the tsunami that followed, which killed an estimated 28,000 people.

Japan's neighbors have sounded increasingly alarmed over the risk of radiation from the plant, while tourists are staying away in what should be the peak season, and the country seeks ways to cut power use.

Announcers on Japan's public broadcaster NHK told coastal residents to run to higher ground and away from the shore after the quake hit on Thursday.

The Japan meteorological agency had issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to 2 meters, but it was lifted later.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

7.4-magnitude quake rattles Japan

About the broadcaster:

7.4-magnitude quake rattles Japan

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.