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Powerful quake hits Hokkaido, Japan

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake hit Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido early on Thursday, collapsing walls and some buildings but not triggering a tsunami.

The quake, which struck at 3:08 a.m. (1808 GMT Wednesday) had a magnitude of 6.7, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey said earlier it struck some 112 km (70 miles) southeast of Sapporo.

Public broadcaster NHK showed a brick wall collapsed and broken glass in a home and quoted local police as reporting there had been power outages and some people trapped in collapsed structures.

A Twitter user named Licia said: “My friends. We just had a major #earthquake here in Japan. #Hokkaido. #Sapporo. We are in the dark, but otherwise fine. Omg! It was humongous. No information on magnitude. Internet still works for now.”

USGS said the earthquake is not expected to generate a tsunami based on its intensity, depth and historic tsunami records Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido prefecture with a population of nearly two million people. It was not immediately clear whether there was any significant damage or injuries as a result. A magnitude 7 quake is characterized as major, sudden and severe earthquake, occurring every 50 years in a population.The earthquake comes just hours after prefectures in the south of Japan were battered by Typhoon Jebi. At least 10 people are reported to have died and more than 100 people have been injured in damage caused to buildings and roads by the violent winds. The cities of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto which make up the Kansai region were some of the worst hit with winds of 135 mph recorded.

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One killed, 32 missing after quake paralyzes Japan's Hokkaido island

TOKYO (Reuters) - At least one person was killed and 32 were missing, Japanese media reported, after a powerful earthquake paralyzed the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors from a building damaged by a landslide caused by a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.

Public broadcaster NHK reported the first confirmed fatality and said 120 people had also been injured after the 6.7-magnitude quake. The number missing had earlier been put at 

Aerial footage showed dozens of landslides exposing barren hillsides near the town of Atsuma in southern Hokkaido, with mounds of reddish earth and fallen trees piled up at the edge of green fields. The collapsed remains of what appeared to be houses or barns were scattered about. The entire island was without power after Hokkaido Electric Power Co (9509.T) said it conducted an emergency shutdown of all its fossil fuel-fired power plants following the quake. The utility said it wasn’t clear when electricity would be restored to 2.95 million households. The trade and industry ministry told the utility to restart the coal-fired Tomato-Atsuma power plant within a few hours, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said. All trains across the island were also halted. Roof tiles and water could be seen on the floor at Hokkaido’s main airport, New Chitose Airport, which would be closed for at least Thursday. New Chitose is a major tourist gateway to the island, known for its mountains, lakes and abundant farmland and seafood, and more than 200 flights and 40,000 passengers would be affected, Kyodo News Agency said. The closure comes just a couple days after Kansai Airport, an important hub for companies exporting semiconductors near Osaka, in western Japan, was shut after it was hit by Typhoon Jebi. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said officials hoped to reopen Kansai Airport for domestic flights on Friday.


The quake, which hit at 3:08 a.m. (1808 GMT Wednesday), posed no tsunami risk, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey said it struck some 68 km (42 miles) southeast of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s main city. It registered a strong 6 on Japan’s 7-point earthquake scale. Abe arrived at his office before 6 a.m. and told reporters his government had set up a command center to coordinate relief and rescue. Sounding haggard, Abe said saving lives was his government’s top priority. The Tomari Nuclear Power Station, which has been shut since a 2011 earthquake and tsunami, suffered a power outage but was cooling its fuel rods safely with emergency power, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Operator Hokkaido Electric reported no radiation irregularities at the plant, Suga told a news conference. Farming and tourism are two of the island’s biggest economic drivers, but there is some industry. Kirin Beer and Sapporo Beer both said factories were shut by the power outage, although they said no structural damage was found.

A fire broke out at a Mitsubishi Steel Mfg Co ( plant in the city of Muroran after the quake but was mostly extinguished with no injuries, a company official said.A series of smaller shocks, including one with a magnitude of 5.4, followed the initial quake, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said. Agency official Toshiyuki Matsumori warned residents to take precautions for potential major aftershocks in coming days. Japan is situated on the “Ring of Fire” arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin and accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the most powerful ever recorded in Japan, struck on March 11, 2011, off the coast of the northern city of Sendai. It set off a tsunami that devastated communities along the Pacific coast and killed nearly 20,000 people. The tsunami also damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, leading to a series of explosions and meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear disaster for 25 years. Saturday marked the 95th anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area. Seismologists have said another such quake could strike the city at any time.


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Here we are bellying over too much rain or excessive heat, could you image having this happen while you sleep?



Tomari nuclear plant using emergency generators

2 hours ago

Japan's nuclear regulatory body says the Tomari nuclear power plant in Hokkaido is using emergency generators to cool fuel after the region was hit by a powerful earthquake.
The plant's operator Hokkaido Electric Power Company says all 3 channels from outside power sources were cut off about 20 minutes after the quake struck early Thursday. The plant's 3 reactors are all currently offline, with a total of 1,527 fuel assemblies in its storage pools. Following the quake, 6 emergency diesel-powered generators automatically switched on to cool the nuclear fuel. No changes in storage pool water levels or temperature have been reported. The Nuclear Regulation Authority and Hokkaido Electric say it is not yet clear when outside power sources will be restored, with all thermal power plants in Hokkaido currently shut down. The emergency generators will be able to keep the Tomari plant running for at least 7 days, based on diesel fuel supplies stored on its premises. They added that the earthquake did not seem to cause any irregularities in key plant facilities and radiation monitoring posts have shown no change.


Earthquake halts Hokkaido transport

40 min ago

Public transit has also been paralyzed across the island prefecture. Aviation authorities canceled all flights at New Chitose Airport on Thursday. The country's transport ministry says a partial ceiling collapse and burst water pipes have shut down the airport's terminal. Workers are also checking runways for damage. Shinkansen bullet train service is suspended. Most of local trains have also stopped. Many roadways have large craters and gaps that have made it impossible for vehicles to operate. Public bus services have shut down and many highways have also closed. Schools are also closed for the day. People are trying to stock up on emergency supplies. The water supply has also been affected by the earthquake. it's been cut off to swaths of the island. Hospitals are on emergency backup power as crews try to restore electricity to nearly 3 million buildings on the island. Several hospitals are turning away emergency patients because of the outages. Hokkaido Electric Power Company says after the quake it shut down all of its thermal power plants. It says they couldn't continue to safely supply electricity. At one plant, the operator says, they found cracks in pipes leading to a turbine. The Tomari nuclear power plant lost its external power source, but workers there are using emergency generators, and no safety issues have been observed.


Quake triggers massive blackout across Hokkaido

56 min ago

Nearly 3 million households throughout Hokkaido are without power following the strong earthquake that struck the northern prefecture early on Thursday morning. The industry ministry says the tremor shut down the largest thermal power plant in Hokkaido, the Tomato-Atsuma plant, which in turn led to a shutdown of all other thermal and hydro plants in the prefecture. The ministry says the shutdown of the Tomato-Atsuma plant caused power demand to far exceed supply, making it difficult to maintain the power frequency. This forced the shutdown of other plants as a safety measure to prevent equipment damage. As a result, about 2.95 million households across Hokkaido are left without power.
Hokkaido Electric Power Company has resumed operation of 4 hydropower plants. But the electricity generated there is being used for operations to restore the thermal power plants, and it is still unable to supply power to homes and companies. The utility is also conducting inspection operations to search for damage to power cables and substations across the prefecture. The industry ministry says there is a power transmission line to supply power from the main Honshu island to the northern island prefecture. But it says power cannot be provided unless power in Hokkaido is restored to a certain extent. The ministry says if operation resumes at the largest Tomato-Atsuma plant, all other thermal plants can go online. The ministry has ordered Hokkaido Electric Power Company to start getting the power plants working as quickly as possible.


Expert: Quake triggered simultaneous landslides

28 min ago

An expert on erosion control says the strong earthquake that struck Hokkaido triggered multiple landslides in the town of Atsuma. Hiroyuki Ohno says the powerful force generated by the quake caused the layers near the surface of a slope to collapse, triggering the simultaneous landslides. He warns that the remaining portion of the slope could collapse if there are more tremors. Ohno says the collapsed area is more prone to crumbling than usual, as rain will seep directly into the exposed soil. He advises people in areas with landslide warnings and other hazardous locations to evacuate as quickly as possible.

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Powerful quake paralyzes Hokkaido in latest disaster to hit Japan


TOKYO (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake paralyzed Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, killing at least 9 people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

Landslides caused by an earthquake are seen in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
The death toll from the 6.7-magnitude, pre-dawn quake was likely to rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides.

About 33 people were missing and 300 were injured, public broadcaster NHK said. Four people were in cardiopulmonary arrest, a term used before death is officially confirmed.



Incredible large scale land slides.





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@PlanetMaster those pictures are surreal. Not much can be scarier than having the ground move under ones feet.  

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