Strong Quake Rocks Japan Anew

Still struggling to recover from the three disasters that have hit the country nearly one month ago, Japan’s Tohoku region was again rocked by a strong tremor late Thursday night, plunging a vast area in darkness and leaving at least 2 people dead.

The tremor, the strongest recorded since the March 11 quake that generated a mammoth tsunami, struck around 11:30pm Thursday Japan time and was measured at 7.1 magnitude. The quake knocked off power lines, shattered windows, and collapsed roofs of already weakened houses that survived last month’s devastation, the Associated Press said in a report. Fortunately, the region’s nuclear plants were spared of any major damage this time, although several of them were affected and have reportedly malfunctioned. Radioactive water reportedly splashed out from a nuclear plant in Onagawa, but the Japanese nuclear safety agency assured that no radiation was released outside the plant’s containment building.

National fire and disaster agency spokesman Junichi Sawada said there were two confirmed deaths while more than 130 people have been reported injured. The quake, whose epicenter was found 40 miles from the city of Sendai, reportedly shook buildings as far as Tokyo.