7.3 Quake Causes Mass Blackouts in Japan, 4 Dead

At least four people died and 94 injured after a powerful earthquake hit northeastern Japan, shaking buildings 170 miles away from Tokyo, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Fukushima region at a depth of 60km just before midnight on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said four people had died and that the government would be on high alert for the possibility of further strong tremors over the next two to three days.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said earlier on Thursday that at least 94 people were injured.

Meanwhile, transport links to the northeast remained closed, with the Shinkansen bullet train service indefinitely suspended and at least one major highway to the region closed for safety checks.

Utility Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said about 2 million households lost power on Wednesday after the quake, including 700,000 in the capital.

Last Friday was the 11th anniversary of a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that triggered waves more than 10 meters high that struck eastern and northeastern Japan, causing a severe nuclear accident. 

The number of deaths and missing people combined at that time was 18,423.


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