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New strong earthquake in Fukushima brings back bad memories

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Another tsunami alert in Fukushima. Almost exactly eleven years after the devastating catastrophe and nuclear accident, the northeastern region of Japan is again affected by strong earthquakes. Once again, the Japanese realize: they live in a powder keg.

Almost exactly eleven years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the region is again hit by a strong earthquake. (Image: dpa)

Fukushima – The region around the nuclear ruins of Fukushima has been shaken again by a strong earthquake. Japan’s meteorological authority issued a tsunami warning of up to one meter in height for the Pacific coast of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures on Wednesday night (local time). At the former Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant there was a fire alarm in a turbine building, the operator Tepco announced.

In addition, the bombs failed in a cooling pond for spent fuel rods at the second Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, twelve kilometers south of the nuclear ruins. The earthquake also derailed a Shinkansen high-speed train; according to local media reports, the around 100 passengers on board were uninjured.

In the Tokyo metropolitan area, 250 kilometers away, buildings began to sway for an alarmingly long time. There were initially no reports of major damage, but according to the Kyodo news agency, numerous people had to be taken to hospitals in Fukushima. In addition, there was a temporary power outage in two million homes.

The ground shook just before midnight.

The magnitude 7.3 tremor occurred nearly eleven years after the region in Northeast Asia was devastated by a devastating magnitude 9 earthquake and triggered a massive tsunami, and central meltdowns occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. . Fortunately, this time the islanders were spared from such a catastrophe.

Many Japanese had already gone to sleep when the walls suddenly shook shortly before midnight. Shortly after, the tsunami warning of up to a meter in height was issued. Shortly after, a 20-centimeter tsunami was recorded in the port city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture. The Tokyo government immediately set up an emergency staff. That a Shinkansan derailed shows how strong the blows were. The Shinkansen is famous throughout the world for its extremely high security.

The Japanese were similarly stunned when, in October 2004, a Shinkansen went off the track for the first time after an earthquake, although no one was injured. The wrecked train could still be seen on state television for days, so much did the case gnaw at the pride of the nation.

“It is medium in size by Japanese standards”

According to the meteorological authority, Wednesday’s tremor occurred off the coast of Fukushima at a depth of about 60 kilometers. “By Japanese standards, it is medium in size,” seismologist Marco Bohnhoff of the Potsdam Geoforschungszentrum (GfZ) said on Wednesday.

The tremors again showed the Japanese the dangers that awaited them. Strong earthquakes can come at any time. At some point, many fear that a strong earthquake will also hit Tokyo. Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.

It was not an unexpected event, Bohnhoff emphasized. The Pacific Ocean tectonic plate slides under Japan, this process stops when the plates get stuck. Then, over the course of years or even centuries, the energy builds up and suddenly discharges. It cannot be ruled out, but it is unlikely, that a larger earthquake will follow immediately. However, Japan’s meteorological agency warned of a possible new tremor of similar magnitude during the next seven days.

On March 11, 2011, as a result of a tidal wave, a gigantic tsunami hit the Pacific coast and devastated everything: towns, villages and large areas of crops sank into the masses of water and mud. The flood killed about 20,000 people.

Despite the earthquake: this time there is no panic

In Fukushima there was a super collapse as a result of the earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It became the symbol of the triple disaster known as “3/11” throughout the world, even if none of the deaths are attributed to radiation.

This time there was no panic among the population. What is sometimes misunderstood in the West as equanimity is actually the composure and perseverance with which the Japanese face natural forces such as these. The realization that ultimately the only way to live is to live in a powder keg has led the islanders to exceptional resilience in times of crisis.

In the video: Fukushima eleven years after the reactor catastrophe

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