Powerful Japan quake sets off landslide, minor injuries

A portion of a highway is blocked by a landslide after an earthquake hit the city, in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. A strong earthquake hit off the coast of northeastern Japan late Saturday, shaking Fukushima, Miyagi and other areas, but there was no threat of a tsunami, officials said.(Hironori Asakawa/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — Residents in northeastern Japan on Sunday cleaned up clutter in stores and homes after a strong earthquake set off a landslide on a highway, stopped trains and caused power blackouts for thousands of people.

The 7.3 magnitude temblor late Saturday shook the quake-prone areas of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures that 10 years ago had been hit by a powerful earthquake that triggered a tsunami and a meltdown at a nuclear power plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant that was hit by the March 2011 disaster, said the water used to cool spent fuel rods near the reactors had spilled because of the shaking. But there were no radiation leaks or other irregularities, TEPCO said.

About 100 people were injured, according to public broadcaster NHK TV, mostly spraining their ankles while falling on stairs and getting cut by broken glass. There were no reports of major injuries.

The quake did not cause a tsunami, and power had been restored by early Sunday, although some bullet train services were still halted.

TV footage and video shared on social media showed boxes, books and other items scattered on floors.

Experts warned of possible aftershocks.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, expressed sympathy for those who had suffered damage and injuries.

“The government will continue to do our utmost to respond,” he said.

Some homes reported problems with water supply.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was centered about 55 kilometers (34 miles) beneath the ocean.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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