7.4 magnitude earthquake kills at least 2, leaves thousands without power in Fukushima, Japan

  • A 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Fukushima, Japan, on Wednesday, leaving many homes without water or power.
  • The earthquake has forced many factories to close, halting the production of supply chains that are already experiencing shortages.
  • It has been reported that at least two people have been found dead with 161 more injured.
  • The Self-Defense Forces are delivering water to communities who lost access to water supplies, and the Japanese government is on high alert for potential tremors in the next two to three days.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 hit Japan’s northeast coast on Wednesday, leaving at least two people dead and many homes without power or water.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported the earthquake occurred at 11:36 p.m. in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. 

More than 2.2 million homes temporarily lost power in 14 different prefectures in Japan, including those in the Tokyo region. 

Factories were also forced to shut down, adding to the slew of supply chains problems for products such as smartphones and electronics. Renesas Electronics Corp, a major supplier for automotive chips, and Toyota Motor Corp are some of many factories that have currently suspended operations as a result of the earthquake.

A Shinkansen bullet train has also been indefinitely closed, and a major highway has been temporarily blocked off while authorities check for potential safety hazards.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, stated during a parliamentary session on Thursday morning that four people had died and 97 others were injured in Wednesday’s earthquake. 

Kishida tweeted to call on residents to “take action to save your life” along with updates on what the government was doing to handle the situation.

A government spokesperson, Hirokazu Matsuno, said that the Self-Defense Forces are delivering water to those who have lost access to water systems and that some residents of a town in Fukushima are working together to fill plastic water tanks.

Television footage by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK showed the disastrous aftermath of the earthquake, including damaged buildings with shattered windows and cracked roads.

An owner of a bar in Fukushima, Aoi Hoshino, recalled Wednesday’s events saying, “This one felt different (from the 2011 quake) – it was huge. I had to hang on to something to stay upright.”

A tsunami warning to the northeast coast of Japan has since been lifted, and power has been restored to the majority of homes on Thursday morning. Around 37,000 homes, located in the Fukushima and Miyagi areas, still do not have power.

Kishida says that the government is currently on watch for any potential tremors that may occur within the next two to three days. 

 

Featured Image via Global News

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