Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Strikes Near Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site

An employee clearns up broken bottles in a liquor story following an earthquake in Fukushima, northeastern Japan, on Saturday. Jun Hirata / Kyodo News via AP

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Saturday off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, which was home to one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters almost a decade ago.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake, which it initially said had a magnitude of 7.1, struck at 11:08 p.m. local time (9:08 a.m. ET) at a depth of 34 miles. Five aftershocks were felt, it said, adding that a tsunami warning has not been issued.

The quake was felt in Japan’s capital, Tokyo. Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference in Tokyo that almost 800,000 people had been left without power in parts of the city and another 90,000 in other areas of Japan.

Checks were still being made to see if people had been injured, he said.

“Where the tremor was felt the strongest, there is higher risk of structural collapse and landslides,” a spokeswoman for the Japan Meteorological Agency told a separate news conference in Tokyo. She added that people should be cautious about tremors.

Fukushima became synonymous with nuclear disaster in March 2011 when the area was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake — the strongest in Japan’s history. A tsunami soon followed, leaving more than 15,000 people dead and 2,500 others still missing.

The deadly wall of water slammed through the walls of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, knocking out the power supply and causing three nuclear reactors to melt, spewing radioactive particles into the air. It will take decades to completely shut down the plant.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Arata Yamamoto and Adela Suliman