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Update: Tsunami Warning Lifted In Japan

Photo: msbnc.com/USGS

The Tsunami warning was lifted after yet another large Japan quake.  Japanese officials are calling it an aftershock, but it was registered as a 7.1 magnitude and hit 30 miles under the water.

A strong aftershock rattled Japan on Thursday night, knocking out power across a large swath of the northern part of the country nearly a month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened the northeastern coast.

Japan’s meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning but canceled it about 90 minutes later. Officials said power was out in all of three northern prefectures and in parts of two others.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or damage. The aftershock was the strongest since the March 11 megaquake and tsunami that killed some 25,000 people, tore apart hundreds of thousands of homes and caused an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.

The operator of the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant said there was no immediate sign of new problems caused by the aftershock, and Japan’s nuclear safety agency says workers there retreated to a quake-resistant shelter in the complex. None were injured. The crisis there started when the tsunami knocked out cooling systems. Workers have not been able to restore them.

Thursday’s quake knocked out several power lines at the Onagawa nuclear power plant north of Sendai, which has been shut down since the tsunami. One remaining line was supplying power to the plant and radiation monitoring devices detected no abnormalities. The plant’s spent fuel pools briefly lost cooling capacity but an emergency diesel generator quickly kicked in.

Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute.  The quake struck at 11:32 p.m. local time. Moments beforehand, residents in the western Tokyo suburb of Fuchu were warned on a neighborhood public address system of an imminent quake.

I can’t imagine the fear they experience day in and day out.  When we have life-threatening weather in the Northland, it’s usually forecast hours or sometimes, days in advance.  I will continue to keep the earthquake and Tsunami victims of Japan in my thoughts and prayers, hoping they get the resources they so desperately need and peace of understanding.  If you want to help visit the American Red Cross donation site.

Story and Photo courtesy of msnbc.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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