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5.3 magnitude earthquake near Fukushima nuclear plant

Published time: September 19, 2013 18:03
Edited time: September 21, 2013 20:02
An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its contaminated water storage tanks (bottom) in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 20, 2013.(Reuters / Kyodo)

An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its contaminated water storage tanks (bottom) in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 20, 2013.(Reuters / Kyodo)

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale has been recorded near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. There are no reports of damage to destroyed facilities and no spike in radiation levels in the area.

The earthquake took place at 17:25 GMT, according to United States Geological Service (USGS) which measured the quake at 5.3. The Japan Meteorological Agency, however,  put the quake at magnitude 5.8.

Screenshot from earthquake.usgs.gov

The tremors were felt in 17 prefectures around Japan causing buildings to shake in the capital Tokyo, 175 kilometers away, an Agence France Presse reporter in the Japanese capital said.

The epicenter was 20 km beneath the surface on the Pacific coast but only around 50 miles from the Fukushima plant. 

TEPCO, the company in charge of the cleanup operations at the site has said it is monitoring the plant and that so-far no irregularities have been discovered, according to the local media. 

There has been no Tsunami alert after the quake. Less than an hour into their initial report, the USGS gave the earthquake incident a green pager, meaning that they don't expect any fatalities or economic losses.

Japan straddles 4 major tectonic plates, known as the "Ring of Fire" the Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate, meaning that it is highly vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. About 90% of the world's earthquakes occur in the region.

Earlier this month an earthquake measuring 6.9 struck the Izu Islands off Japan and was felt 400 miles away in Tokyo, but no damage was recorded at the Fukushima plant.

Just hours before the quake, Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister ordered TEPCO to shut down all six reactors at Fukushima, including two, which were not damaged in the 2011 disaster.

The 2011 disaster caused three reactors to melt and damaged a fuel cooling pool at another. TEPCO officials have acknowledged that radiation-contaminated groundwater has been seeping into the Pacific Ocean since soon after the meltdowns and that attempts to collect and store contaminated water have been unsuccessful.

Comments (21)

 

alotta fagina 30.09.2013 03:51

How long before israel takes it over and says this land belongs to them because god gave it to them. I bet the US is already spying on everyone who steps on this island.

 

Peter Craig 24.09.2013 02:44

No off switch, no control, total lack of urgency. This will only get worse until corium blows up into hydrovolcanic event. We are totally screwed!!

 

Suzuki Hiroshi 20.09.2013 15:29

If nothing done, all the health hazards observed since the onset of the Fukushima accident and the recent news of 44 thyroid cancer and suspected cases would be totally ignored.
By the say, UN HRC recommens relocation over 1mSv area, but I think this is insufficient considering that they ignore the initial exposure and internal exposure.
1mSv internal exposure=30000 Bq bodily incorporation=500B q/kg for 60kg adult
This internal exposure calculation into mSv is totally out of question!
nuclea r-news

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