NE Japan Earthquake Day 29: Magnitude 7.4 Aftershock Offshore, Upper-6 Tremors Felt in Sendai and Kurihara

A worker lights the way for people emerging from a blacked-out JR Aoba-dōri Station. (April 7, 11:54 PM, Sendai City Aoba-ku, photo by Keita Iijima)

A ceiling leak floods the floor of JR Sendai Station. (April 8, 12:14 AM, photo by Taho Kudō)

Magnitude 7.4 Aftershock Offshore, Upper-6 Tremors Felt in Sendai and Kurihara
Yomiuri Shimbun: 仙台・栗原で震度6強…M7・4、最大の余震
April 8, 2011

At 11:32 PM on the 7th, there was an earthquake offshore of Miyagi which was measured in the upper 6’s in the northern and central parts of the prefecture.

According to the Meteorological Agency, the quake was magnitude 7.4 at the source 40 kilometers deep. This is the first aftershock of the Great Earthquake to reach the upper 6 range. Its strength was in the upper 6’s in Miyagi cities Sendai (Miyagino District) and Kurihara, the lower 6’s in Iwate’s Ōfunato and Kamaishi cities, the upper 5’s in Aomori’s Hachinohe and Akita, and the lower 5’s in Iwate’s Miyako, in Fukushima City, and in Yamagata’s Shinjō City among others.

The Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for the Miyagi coast and a watch for the Pacific coasts of Aomori and its neighbors, but on 1 AM of the 8th these warnings were lifted.

According to Tōhoku Power, there were blackouts for all of Aomori, Akita, and Iwate, most of Yamagata, and some of Miyagi after the quake.

According to Miyagi Prefecture, as of 12:40 AM on the 8th, there had been five fires and thirteen gas leaks reported in Sendai City. The subway was back up and running at 11:33. The fire department rescued 11 parties who were trapped inside elevators. According to the Kanegazaki Fire Department in Ōshū, Iwate, citizens’ furniture fell down inside their homes, and two people were injured by falling objects.

Also, according to JR East, a 10-car Tōhoku Shinkansen bullet train bound from Ichinoseki to New Aomori Station came to a halt automatically 20 kilometers from its destination. The fifteen passengers were stuck inside the train. On the normal Tōhoku line, a train with 34 passengers stopped between Hanamaki Airport to Ishidōriya Station.

According to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center, at 12:05 on the 8th, traffic has been stopped between the Shirakawa and Moriokashi Interchanges on the Tōhoku Expressway, the Kashiwa and Jōban Tomioka Interchanges on the Jōban Expressway, and the Inawashiro Bandai Kōgen Interchange and the Iwaki Junction on the Ban-etsu Expressway. Traffic has also been fully or partially stopped on the Sendai Tōbu, Akita, Yamagata, Higashi Mito, Hachinohe, Eastern Kantō, and Ken-o Expressways.

“Nothing Out of the Ordinary” at Fukushima Reactors
According to Tokyo Power, nothing happened to Fukushima I Reactor’s electrical line after the earthquake. Water injections into reactors 1-3 and a nitrogen injection into No. 1 are continuing as normal. There was also nothing out of the ordinary at reactors 5 and 6.

There is nothing to report at the Fukushima II Reactor, either. Electrical connections were lost at 2 of the 3 reactors at the Onagawa Reactor, however. Electricity also went out at the Higashidōri Reactor and the Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. Nuclear Reprocessing Facility; they are now functioning on their emergency diesel supplies.

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