A 6.9 magnitude earthquake has rocked Japan near the Fukushima nuclear disaster area on Tuesday morning, local time. Authorities initially characterized the quake as 7.3 magnitude, but later downgraded it. Tsunami waves up to three feet high hit coastal cities shortly after the quake. Observers in Toyko reported intense shaking that continued for more than a minute. Evacuation orders on Japanese television reportedly implored residents to “remember the great earthquake of 2011,” referring to the 9.1-magnitude undersea earthquake off the Tōhoku coast, which caused powerful tsunamis, killing nearly 16,000 people and causing several major nuclear accidents, including meltdowns at three reactors in Fukushima.
Daily Beast contributor Jake Adelstein said the area’s nuclear power plants appeared undisturbed immediately after the quake. “There was no major damage reported at the three nuclear power plants in the area affected by the tsunami warning, including the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Nuclear Reactor, which had a triple meltdown in March of 2011 after a large earthquake and tsunami,” Adelstein reported. “A cooling device for the nuclear waste held in a storage pool at the Fukushima Dai-2 reactor stopped running and is expected to be repaired soon. The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear disaster is still being cleaned up and is expected to take decades to complete.”