Japan natural disaster: Hokkaido nuclear power station running on emergency power
Japan natural disaster: Hokkaido nuclear power station running on emergency power
The 6.7 quake is the strongest recorded in Japan since 2016
07 September, 2018, 08:14
A powerful quake shook Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Thursday, causing landslides that crushed homes, knocking out power across the island, and forcing a nuclear power plant to use a backup generator.
The quake, which struck with a magnitude 6.7 in the early hours of Thursday morning, has left nearly three million households without electricity.
It is sparsely populated compared to the rest of Japan, but disruptions were widespread.
Almost 5,000 people spent the night in evacuation centers where food was distributed in the morning.
"It came in four big jerks - bang! bang! bang! bang!" one unidentified woman told NHK.
Over 120 people were injured, while dozens more feared missing under collapsed structures. "Please be very careful of further landslides", the spokesman warned.
"We will devote all our energy to saving lives", Abe said. Meanwhile, Tohoku Electric Power Co. confirmed no problems at the Higashidori nuclear power plant in Aomori Prefecture south of Hokkaido.
Seko said mobile generators were being sent to hospitals.
Hokkaido's main airport is closed, at least for the day.
The island, about the size of Austria, is a popular tourist destination known for its mountains, lakes and seafood.
Rescue work is underway to search for the missing.
Aerial views showed dozens of houses destroyed at the bottom of a hill that was engulfed by a landslide, with a rescue helicopter winching a resident to safety.
Around 26 people are still unaccounted for in the small northern countryside town of Atsuma, where a cluster of dwellings were wrecked when a hillside collapsed with the force of the 6.6-magnitude quake, causing deep brown scars in the landscape.
After the Japan Football Associated (JFA) were rapidly able to establish that all the players and staff were safe, they took a decision to call the game off due to the situation of the stricken area.
The utility said it wasn't clear when electricity would be restored to 2.95 million households.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters that the extensive power outage was caused by an emergency shutdown of the main thermal power plant at Tomato Atsuma that supplies half of Hokkaido's electricity.
The closure comes just days after Kansai Airport, another major regional hub, in western Japan, was shut by TyphoonJebi, which killed 11 people and injured hundreds.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that Kansai Airport will partially resume operations by the end of Friday.and added that worldwide flights will restart as soon as they are ready.
JR Hokkaido planned to resume bullet train operations from midday. Other Japan's nuclear facilities outside the island also reported no abnormalities.
However, manufacturers were still being affected by power outages. Rescuers were rushing to unearth survivors and restore power Thursday after a powerful quake jolted Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, buckling roads, knocking homes off their foundations and causing entire hillsides to collapse. Three other outlying airports on Hokkaido were said to be operating.
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