Powerful Fukushima Earthquake In Japan And Its Minor Tsunami In 2014 Is One Of Several Aftershocks To Come From 2011 Quake

Lisa Carley

A strong Fukushima earthquake that happened early Saturday morning resulted in a minor tsunami, and experts warn that this is just one aftershock of several to come from 2011's killer quake that sparked a massive monster tsunami.

Measured by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan was not nearly as intense as the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that ripped through Japan and triggered unbelievably massive tsunami tidal waves in March 2011. More than 18,000 people were killed and Fukushima No. 1 power plant suffered a triple core meltdown in the 2011 quake and tsunami, and Japan is still trying to recover.

However, the 2014 earthquake still caused a minor tsunami and left at least three people injured in the quake, according to Japan Times. The earthquake could be felt in Tokyo, which was more than 120 miles to the south. The U.S. Geological Survey believe the quake began at a depth of about 8 miles off Fukushima's coast in the early morning hours.

The resulting early morning tsunami measured in some places as high as 7.8 inches, though the early tsunami advisories warned that tidal waves up to 3.3 feet were possible. The tsunami advisory was lifted two hours later.

A Meteorological Agency official said, "We have lifted the tsunami advisory, but do not approach coastlines for now as there may be a change in sea levels."

Concerns were raised about Fukushima No. 1, but it was reported that there was no abnormal activity or damage at the plant. However, the sea levels near Fukushima No. 1 cannot be measured because the tsunami monitoring system was severely damaged and destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) manages Fukushima No. 1, and a spokesperson claimed, "We have not seen any damage or any change in radiation gauges after the quake."

However, workers still have yet to start at the time of the report because they had been evacuated to higher ground.

"Today's operations have yet to start but we ordered workers to evacuate to high places," the TEPCO spokesperson said. "Our temporary breakwater that was newly built is high enough to block a 1-meter [nearly 3.3 foot] tsunami."

According to Japan Today, seismologists warn that the Fukushima earthquake was a delayed reaction to the monster quake from 2011.

Seismologist Yasuhiro Yoshida of the Japan Meteorological Agency said, "There are fears that relatively large earthquakes will occasionally occur in the ocean area where aftershocks of the great earthquake continue."

He further warned, "The aftershock activity has been steadily declining on a long-term basis. But aftershocks, accompanied by tsunamis, will still occur."

Yoshida mentioned that aftershocks could occur in the next two weeks, measuring a 3 on a scale of 7 in terms of intensity. Saturday's Fukushima earthquake measured up to four on that same Japanese scale.

[Image via AP]