Tsunami Warnings Lifted After M6.7 Earthquake Off Coast of Niigata

At 10.22 pm on Tuesday (JST) an earthquake shook west Japan in the Niigata and Yamagata areas, resulting in 1meter tsunami warnings. The quake could reportedly be felt in Tokyo, over 300 kilometers away.

Thankfully there were very few injured, as the quake hit mostly sparsely populated areas, and the tsunami warning has been lifted. There was a 10 cm tsunami reported in Niigata port 2 hours after the quake, but all warnings were lifted around 1 am Wednesday.

Tsunamis are deceptively powerful as you can see in this demo Tweet.

Despite all warnings being lifted, the quake was still a large one, registering 6.4 on the Japanese scale of up to 7. It is the biggest since the magnitude 7 earthquake of September 6 in Hokkaido last year.

Around 7800 households were without power in total across the two prefectures but fortunately, there are no reports of damage to nuclear power plants. Weather warnings have caused landslide warnings. Bullet trains and highways were shut off as a precautionary measure, and while the roads with fallen rocks remain closed, train service has returned to normal.

Fallen glasses and furniture, as well as some buildings collapsing, are the main bulk of the damage, and thankfully injuries were minimal. The shake was described by a city official as “a shake such as I had never felt in my life. At first, there was a vertical shake that pushed me up from the bottom, then I felt that the jolt lasted about a minute.”

Professor Takashi Furumura of the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute says the hypocenter of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake on Tuesday was located in an area where two tectonic plates — the North American plate and the Eurasian plate — meet. This is according to a statement released on NHK News. Utility company officials said thousands of households in Niigata and Yamagata prefectures were without power at one point.

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