Tsunami warning for area near crippled Fukushima nuclear site following earthquake of magnitude 7.3

  • The powerful tremor struck at 2.10am on Saturday (5.10pm GMT today)
  • It struck 170 miles off Japan's east coast, near the Fukushima nuclear site
  • Authorities have issued a 'small tsunami' warning for the region

By Sophie Jane Evans

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A powerful earthquake has struck Japan's east coast - prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning for the region.

The 7.3 magnitude tremor hit at 2.10am on Saturday (5.10pm GMT today) near the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.

Despite striking 170 miles off the coast, it was reportedly felt in Tokyo - at least 300 miles away.

Crippled

Crippled: The 7.3 magnitude tremor hit at 2.10am on Saturday (5.10pm GMT today) near Japan's Fukushima nuclear site (pictured)

Japan's authorities have issued a 'small tsunami' alert - warning that waves up to one metre (3.3ft) could reach the coast following the quake in the Pacific Ocean.

Workers at the Fukushima power station, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), have been told to leave the waterfront and move to higher ground, according to local reports.

 

However, there has been no reported damage to land or people along the coast.

Only two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors have been online since the country was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, causing a devastating tsunami, in March 2011.

Carnage

Carnage: Only two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors have been online since the country was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, causing a devastating tsunami, in March 2011

The quake - which claimed the lives of about 19,000 people - triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima site, which is situated about 160 miles north-east of Tokyo.

In the days and weeks following the tremor, reactors flung radioactive substances into the air, soil and sea as part of a clean-up operation.

Since then, the power station has been beset with power outages and other problems.

This had led outside experts to question whether Tepco is qualified to handle the cleanup, which is unprecedented due to the amount of radioactive material on the site and its coastal location.

Earlier this year, the company lost power to cool spent uranium fuel rods at the plant after a rat tripped an electrical wire.

And just last month, Tepco employees found that 430 litres of highly radioactive water had leaked from one of the hastily built storage tanks.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

God bless Japan

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Only two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors have been online since the country was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, causing a devastating tsunami, in March 2011. So how are they now generating their power ?

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I can't help feeling that if man has to resort to nuclear power, maybe there are just too many people on the planet. Has anyone heard of plate techtonics? These accidents are inevitable, particularly in areas where there is a lot of seismic activity like, er, Japan. The risk is just too high, and if the economic model we are following (more people buying more stuff = growth) demand high risk energy production, maybe we should change our economic model!

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All of this incredibly toxic waste is pouring into the sea, and guess what, it's coming this way - well, eventually it will. This is scary stuff and it looks to me, very much like governments have gagged the media, such is the scale of the problem.

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Fukushima Radiation Traced in Pacific Seafood Voice of America, October 25, 2013: TOKYO ¿ Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has insisted that seafood caught near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is safe to eat. Scientists have voiced concerns, however, that radioactive isotopes could accumulate in fish and pose a danger to human health. A bigger concern is the accumulation of isotopes in marine life. Earlier this year, cesium isotopes from Fukushima were found in tuna caught off California. Strontium 90 has become of more concern because it¿s a bone-seeking isotope. That will stay in fish much longer.

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And we are building a new nuclear power station, I say we, the French and Chinese, ultimately a company under a communist state. How many catastrophic nuclear disasters are required to see the light. 3 mile, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Do we need any further lessons? Regardless of what we are told, it ain't safe. What sort of death toll and devistation do we need to prove this point?

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So a lady having a few tears over a comment in sainsburys is more important than a tsunami in fukishima. Get your priorities right dm

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50 Nuclear powerstations in Japan alone, and we wonder why we're all getting Cancer.

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I know Japan is eight hours ahead of us but the headline is not clear.

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I don't know how difficult it would be but its time to dismantle that plant.

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