Powerful quake hits Japanese island of Hokkaido

07 September, 2018, 02:47 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Strong earthquake strikes near Tomakomai in northern Japan

The US Geological Survey said it struck some 68km southeast of Sapporo, Hokkaido's main city.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) continues to monitor the situation and stays in touch with the leaders of the Filipino community in Hokkaido to check the condition of our kababayans there and ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for", he said.

Triggering a blackout just after 3 a.m. local time, the magnitude 6.7 quake left at least seven people dead, more than 100 injured and dozens missing on Hokkaido, an island of about 5.3 million people whose capital is Sapporo.

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The quake comes after another deadly disaster, Typhoon Jebi, which struck the Kansai region in the west of the country earlier in the week. Seismologists have said another such quake could strike the city at any time.

"This decision was made upon careful evaluation of the magnitude of damages incurred, including damages to critical infrastructure such as power outages and significant transportation disruptions, as well as to ensure the security of all spectators, including the supporters of the visiting team".

Smaller aftershocks continued and the Japan Meteorological Agency warned that earthquakes with a similar intensity could continue in the area for about a week.

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"Large quakes often occur, especially within two-three days (of a big one)", said Toshiyuki Matsumori, in charge of monitoring earthquakes and tsunamis at the meteorological agency.

A Japanese nuclear energy station is relying on emergency back up power after a powerful quake knocked out electricity on the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, Sept. 6, a stark reminder of the Fukushima disaster more than seven years ago.

A number of industrial plants and factories were also affected.

The powerful quake shook Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido.

Hokkaido Electric Power officials said they had no idea when operations would resume but were working to start up a hydroelectric plant to resume supplying electricity.

Hokkaido Electric said 2.95 million homes had lost power after the quake but industry minister Hiroshige Seko said the government hopes to restart power "in several hours".

NHK World, a public broadcaster in Japan, reported that the quakes caused "huge landslides" in the area.

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Hokkaido Railway Co. said high-speed bullet and all local trains on the island are halted.

The latest natural disaster hitting Japan during one of the country's most hard summers killed at least four people, with more than 30 still missing.

The island's train system and its main New Chitose Airport has been shutdown.

Officials said there was no threat of a tsunami.

Japan sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where numerous world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.

The station was closed after the devastating quake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011, causing the meltdown of three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex.

Saturday marked the 95th anniversary of the Great Kanto natural disaster, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area.

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