A powerful 6.9-magnitude natural disaster hit northeast Japan today, sparking panic and triggering a tsunami including a one-metre wave that crashed ashore at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.
An quake with a magnitude of 7.4 hit the coast of Fukushima, in Japan, triggering off tsunami scares on 22 November 2016. A one meter high tsunami wave hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was struck by the massive tsunami in March 2011 sending its three reactors into meltdown at the time. The Fukushima Daini Nuclear Plant, which was taken offline after the 2011 quake, suffered a temporary malfunction in the system that cools a spent nuclear fuel rod storage pool.
Seven hours after a tidal wave reaching one meter in Fukushima, the opinion of tsunami risk was lifted in mid-day, on all the relevant areas of the east coast of Japan.
Japan, that sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", is said to witness most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Plant operator TEPCO said a pump that supplies cooling water to a spent fuel pool at the nearby Fukushima Dai-ni plant stopped working, but that a backup pump had been launched to restore cooling water to the pool.
The natural disaster, which was felt in Tokyo, had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and was centered off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles), the agency said.
No signs of major damage were immediately evident from television images, and authorities reported a small number of light injuries, but residents along the coast were badly shaken. The quake struck near Fukushima at about 06:00 a.m. local time, triggering initial warnings of 9.8 feet high waves.
People continue to keep a lookout after tsunami advisories triggered by the natural disaster were issued.
United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the quake hit Namie, Futaba District, and Fukushima.
Witnesses said that the quake was strong and lasted for about a minute. But five years on, Rowe said, "there's still a lot of tension left over in the North American plate", whose momentum carried it a bit too far over the Pacific plate in 2011, leaving it stretched out.
Entire neighborhoods disappeared in 2011 as a torrent of water swept over barriers and carried away homes, automobiles and people.
But it was the tsunami that followed that had the most devastating results. However, TEPCO's credibility regarding its Fukushima plant is dubious as they lied about the true extent of the 2011 crisis with complicity from the Japanese government.