5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Japan’s Fukushima Power Plant: USGS Today

November 23, 2018 Updated: November 23, 2018

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture on Nov. 23, according to reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit about 18 miles east-northeast of the city of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, at a depth of 30 miles.

The quake had a 5.0 on Japanese seismic scale, which has a maximum of 7, reported the Daily Mail.

A tsunami warning was not issued and no damage or injuries were reported.

earthquake hits japan today
A 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima province on Nov. 23, according to reports. (USGS)

On user on Twitter wrote he felt a “long rattling in Yokohama,” located about 200 miles away from Fukushima.

“It was an earthquake? I felt that too?? I’m staying in Tokyo on a holiday and I just felt my whole Airbnb shake??” wrote another person on Twitter, the Daily Mail reported.

Iwaki was hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, leaving more than 300 dead in the city. Fukushima Prefecture and its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, located in Okuma, was the site of an earthquake-triggered disaster that caused three nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive material.

Fukushima Update

In September 2018, the Japanese government acknowledged for the first time that a worker at the Fukushima nuclear power plant died from radiation exposure.

The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry ruled that compensation should be paid to the family of the man in his 50s who died from lung cancer, an official told Reuters.

The worker had spent his career working at nuclear plants around Japan and worked at the Fukushima Daiichi plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) at least twice after the March 2011 meltdowns at the station. He was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016, the official said.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, seen on Feb. 22, 2016. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2017, TEPCO suggested that it might dump 770,000 cubic meters of water contaminated with the radioactive tritium into the Pacific, arguing that the dumping of tritium-contaminated water is done by other plants around the world. “After dilution, tritium is released into the ocean, not only from the nuclear power plants but also from the reprocessing plants in the world already,” said nuclear engineer Tadahiro Katsuta of Meiji University, to the Epoch Times via email.

“Doses from tritium and nuclear power plant effluents are a negligible contribution to the background radiation to which people are normally exposed, and they account for less than 0.1 percent of the total background dose,” said the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Ring of Fire

Japan lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and is earthquake-prone. The Ring of Fire, which encircles the entire Pacific Ocean basin, accounts for the vast majority of the world’s earthquakes and active volcanoes.

“The Ring of Fire isn’t quite a circular ring. It is shaped more like a 25,000-mile horseshoe. A string of 452 volcanoes stretches from the southern tip of South America, up along the coast of North America, across the Bering Strait, down through Japan, and into New Zealand. Several active and dormant volcanoes in Antarctica, however, ‘close’ the ring,” according to National Geographic.

In September 1923, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake in Japan killed 142,000 people and devastated Tokyo and other cities. “The initial jolt was followed a few minutes later by a 40-foot-high tsunami. A series of towering waves swept away thousands of people,” says Smithsonian Magazine.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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