A powerful quake struck Japan on Thursday, killing two and triggering a tsunami warning for one prefecture and advisories in others, officials said.
The warning and advisories were lifted about 90 minutes later, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but it left millions of Japanese rattled. The quake was closer to the Japanese coast than last month’s 9.0-magnitude quake.
There were reports of two casualties in the earthquake zone, and 132 people were injured, officials said. Seventeen of the 132 were thought to have serious injuries, the National Police Agency said. A handful of roads were damaged as well as a few homes. The Yamagata Prefectural office said a 63-year-old woman died after a power outage caused by the quake stopped her oxygen, which relied on electricity. A second person died in the Miyagi Prefecture, the office there said, though it did not say who or how.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was a magnitude 7.4. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was 7.1. The USGS also said Thursday’s quake could be considered an aftershock, making it the biggest one since the March 11 quake.
Workers evacuated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after the quake, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said. The company said it has communication with the plant, and the power is still on there. There were no immediate reports of damage, it said.
The workers returned later and were assessing any impact, CNN’s Kyung Lah reported Friday. TEPCO later said its work was not impacted by the quake.
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About four million homes remained without power, police said, and water and train services were disrupted in some places.
The quake’s epicenter was off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The USGS said the quake was centered 41 miles (66 kilometers) from Sendai — one of the areas worst hit by last month’s 9.0-magnitude quake — and 73 miles (118 kilometers) from Fukushima, where a crisis has been under way at the nuclear plant since last month’s tsunami.
Public broadcaster NHK had reported a tsunami warning for Miyagi, saying people in that area should evacuate away from the shore to a safe place.
NHK also reported tsunami advisories for the Pacific coast of Aomori Prefecture, and for the Iwate, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said based on all available data, “a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is not a tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
The quake was centered 207 miles (333 kilometers) from Tokyo, the USGS said. It was 30.4 miles (49 kilometers) deep, the agency reported. The Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated the depth as 60 kilometers.
The earthquake took place shortly after 11:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET).