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Japan Quake Is Aftershock From Big One in 2011

It hit Japan's Fukushima region, site of nuclear disaster 10 years ago
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2021 7:31 AM CST

(Newser) – Just how powerful was the 2011 earthquake that triggered a nuclear disaster in Japan? The aftershocks are still coming a decade later, reports the Japan Times. The Fukushima region got hit with a 7.1 magnitude temblor over the weekend, and Japan's Meteorological Agency is calling it an aftershock from the 2011 quake. Aftershocks can continue for years after a big quake, explain the BBC and Earth & Sky. This time, however, the earthquake began so deep under the ocean that it did not trigger a tsunami. More than 100 injuries were reported throughout Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures in northern Japan, as well as landslides and damaged buildings, but no deaths. More than 20,000 were believed to have been killed in the 2011 quake, and hundreds of thousands lost their homes. The nuclear cleanup from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant will take decades to finish.

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“Because (the 2011 quake) was an enormous one with a magnitude of 9.0, it’s not surprising to have an aftershock of this scale 10 years later,” Kenji Satake of the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute tells the Japan Times. The earthquake comes almost exactly 10 years after the March 11, 2011, quake, and as Japan prepares to mark the anniversary. For example, Japan is hosting the Olympics this year, and the torch relay will begin next month in Fukushima to "to showcase the recovery of the areas worst affected by the disaster," says the Olympic committee. Near the epicenter, Reuters caught up with the owner of a bar cleaning up broken bottles. “We were hit by this coronavirus pandemic, and so we were looking forward to reopening our shops, and now this happens,” she says. “It’s just one thing after another.” (Read more Japan earthquake stories.)

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