Powerful 7.3 earthquake sinks Japan's northeast coast

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Powerful 7.3 earthquake sinks Japan's northeast coast

A powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted Japan's northeast coast off Fukushima on Wednesday after a devastating earthquake hit northeastern Japan on the night of March 16 The Asahi Shimbun A powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake sank Japan s northeast coast off Fukushima, leaving two dead and 94 wounded and reviving memories of a quake and tsunami that crippled the region just over a decade earlier in the day.

There were reports of fire, according to the government. On Thursday morning, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said there had been two confirmed deaths and 94 injured, including four seriously.

The quake felt in Tokyo, some 275 kilometers away, where the shaking of buildings was long and pronounced. Hundreds of thousands of homes in the capital were plunged into darkness for an hour or more, although power was fully restored by the early hours of Thursday morning.

The quake hit off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture just before midnight, a depth of 60 kilometers, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It sparked memories of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, a week after that disaster's 11th anniversary.

There were no abnormalities at nuclear power plants, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. The 2011 disaster triggered a meltdown at Fukushima No. Japan is still coming to grips with 1 nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture, an incident that Japan is still dealing with.

A fire alarm had been triggered at a turbine building at the crippled plant, according to authorities.

A Shinkansen bullet train with some 100 people on board was separated from each other, although there were no reports of injuries.

On Wednesday, around 2 million households lost power, including 700,000 in the capital, according to Utility Tokyo Electric Power Co. As of 7.40 am local time Thursday, around 38,500 homes were still without power, according to Tohoku Electric Power Co.

Strong quakes in Japan can disrupt the production of sensitive electronic components, such as semiconductors that are made using precision machinery.

The 2011 quake stopped production at a factory owned by Renesas Electronics Corp., which makes nearly a third of all microcontroller chips used in cars. A fire at the facility last year worsened a chip shortage that has forced auto companies to reduce output.

Renesas said it would provide a statement on whether production has been affected later, as well as checking the condition of three of its plants in Naka, Yonezawa and Takasaki.

Japan experiences about a fifth of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, sitting on the boundary of several tectonic plates.