Magnitude-6.6 earthquake hits northern Japan near major city

Magnitude-6.6 earthquake hits northern Japan near major city

Magnitude-6.6 earthquake hits northern Japan near major city

His voice sounding haggard, Abe said saving lives was his government's top priority.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that helicopter crews are carrying out rescue operations...but dozens are still missing.

Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari nuclear power plant is seen in Tomari town on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, in this picture taken by Kyodo May 5, 2012.

The utility was trying to restore some power from hydroelectric and other fossil-fuel sources on Thursday and aimed to bring other plants on line by Friday, industry minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters.

It struck near Hokkaido's main airport, New Chitose Airport, which will remain closed for at least Thursday. Aerial views showed large-scale landslides in the sparsely populated countryside, which was also hit by the edge of a powerful typhoon that surged through Japan earlier this week.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 4,000 of Japan's Self-Defence Forces had been dispatched to help with recovery efforts, with around 20,000 more expected to join.

The agency says the quake struck the island of Hokkaido about 3am on Thursday and had a depth of 33.4 kilometres.

The main railway company on the quake-hit northern Japanese island of Hokkaido said all trains have stopped due to power outage. The quake knocked out power to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and the tsunami swamped diesel generators placed in low floors within reactor buildings, leading to a series of explosions and meltdowns in the world's worst nuclear disaster for 25 years.

It had been hoped that power would be restored in hours and some electricity gradually returned but damage to generators at the plant means it may take more than a week before it is back up, Mr Seko said.

Officials have said a "large" number of houses in Atsuma have been hit by the slip.

The quake was followed by a 5.4 aftershock, NHK said, citing the Japan Meteorological Agency.

"This decision was made upon careful evaluation of the magnitude of damages incurred, including damages to critical infrastructure such as power outages and significant transportation disruptions, as well as to ensure the security of all spectators, including the supporters of the visiting team".

Rescue workers search for survivors from a house damaged by a landslide caused by an natural disaster in Atsuma town in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018. Local buses and trains, as well as bullet train services were halted. He urged residents to "to pay full attention to seismic activity and rainfall and not to go into risky areas".

Thirty-seven people remain missing after the landslides caused by the 6.7 magnitude quake buried the village of Atsuma on the island of Hokkaido.

The quake set off a massive tsunami that devastated a wide swathe of the Pacific coastline and eft almost 20,000 dead.

The March 11, 2011, magnitude 9 quake that struck off the northern Honshu coast set off a massive tsunami that devastated a wide swath of the Pacific coastline and left almost 20,000 dead.

Related news