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5.3 Earthquake Hits Fukushima; TEPCO Reports No Problems

For about the past hour we've been monitoring news that a 5.3 magnitude earthquake has struck Japan. According to an Associated Press report, the U.S. Geological Service has reported that the earthquake originated 13 miles beneath Fukushima Prefecture about 110 miles Northeast of Tokyo.

The critical information now is the following:
The Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., observed no abnormality in radiation or equipment after the quake.
It's a little after 4:00 a.m. in Japan on Friday morning, so we can expect to see additional details being reported over the next few hours. If and when there are other details to report, we'll pass them along.

FRIDAY UPDATE: No new concerns at nation's nuclear facilities according to House of Japan:
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Fukushima in the northeast early Friday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but no abnormalities were observed at the region's nuclear power plants including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi, according to their operators.

[...]

No new abnormalities were observed in measurement data from the nuclear reactors and other equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station or from radioactivity monitoring posts there. Readings were also normal at the nearby Fukushima Daini plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. The Daiichi plant was crippled by the massive quake and tsunami in 2011.

Japan Atomic Power Co. said no abnormalities were confirmed at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.
NEI's Tom Kauffman, the member of NEI's media team that tracks events in Japan most closely, passed along this note:
There have been 2,740 earthquakes in Japan since March 11, 2011. That's unlike anything we know in the U.S. To put things in perspective, take a look at this interactive map that tracks earthquakes in Japan since Fukushima.

The map only shows earthquakes 3.0 and greater. There are thousands of small quakes every year (35 to 45 a day) that rarely cause significant damage.
Again, we'll provide additional updates as warranted.

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