A powerful 6.1 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Japan, just 200 miles east of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) quake which struck at 2.37am local time on Thursday was was about six miles or 10 km deep. Its epicenter was close to the huge 2011 earthquake that led to a tsunami and caused a nuclear meltdown in Japan.
So far no tsunami warning has been issued and details of the extent of the damage have not yet emerged
The Mail Online reports:
A similar earthquake back in 2011 killed 15,894 people and injured 10 more when a tsunami, landslides and fires broke out as a result.
But experts are predicting today’s quake should pass by without causing any harm.
In June, five workers at a nuclear research facility in east Japan were exposed to radioactive material on Tuesday after a bag that contained it burst, the plant’s state-run operator said.
Japan’s nuclear industry has been in tatters in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, with parts of the public deeply skeptical about the safety of atomic energy.
Japan shut down all of its atomic reactors after a powerful earthquake in March 2011 spawned a huge tsunami that led to meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
It became the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
Since then, just a handful of reactors have come back online due to public opposition and as legal cases work their way through the courts.
However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has aggressively promoted nuclear energy, calling it essential to powering the world’s third-largest economy.
This is the third major earthquake to have struck around the world in the last 24 hours. It follows one in Mexico that measured a magnitude of 7.1, and another 6.1 magnitude in New Zealand.