Tsunami warning issued after strong quake hits northwest Japan

Marje Pelayo   •   June 19, 2019   •   2810

JAPAN — A strong and shallow earthquake struck Japan’s northwest coast around Niigata prefecture on Tuesday (June 18), triggering a small tsunami, shaking buildings and cutting power to around 9,000 buildings.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), lasted for as long as 20 seconds and damage included a landslide that struck a road, according to public broadcaster NHK. There were no initial reports of fatalities or fires.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there were only reports of minor injuries so far.

The quake struck at 10.22 p.m. local time (1322 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), the USGS said.

It measured 6.7 according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, and in some places was as high as a strong six on the agency’s seven-point “Shindo”, or Seismic Intensity Scale, which measures ground motion at specific points, unlike magnitude which expresses the amount of energy released. – REUTERS

Japan may have to dump radioactive water into the sea, minister says

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2019

Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of room to store it, the environment minister Yoshiaki Harada said on Tuesday (September 10).

Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has collected more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

But Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in a separate press briefing, described Harada’s comments as “his personal opinion”.

The government is awaiting a report from an expert panel before making a final decision on how to dispose of the radioactive water.

Any green light from the government to dump the waste into the sea would anger neighbors such as South Korea, which summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last month to explain how the Fukushima water would be dealt with.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it had asked Japan “to take a wise and prudent decision on the issue.” (Reuters)

(Production: Kwiyeon Ha)

Torrential rain causes destruction in parts of southern Japan; kills two

UNTV News   •   August 28, 2019

Torrential rains caused floods and landslides on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu on Wednesday (August 28), killing at least two people and prompting authorities to issue a rare emergency warning and evacuation orders for nearly 850,000 people.

Footage posted on social media by Instagram user @SYUHEI.U shows debris from broken trees and fences scattered around a neighbourhood, as fast-moving calf-deep floodwaters sweep through the streets of Saga prefecture.

One man was killed when his car was washed away in Saga prefecture, where some areas were hit by more than 100 mm (4 inches) of rainfall in an hour, public broadcaster NHK said.

Japan’s meteorological agency assigned the highest alert level of 5, issuing an emergency warning to residents in large parts of northern Kyushu as they only experience torrential rains once in a few decades. (REUTERS)

(Production: Arshad Satikin, Angie Teo)

South Korea’s Prime Minister expresses regret over Japan’s ‘white list’ removal

UNTV News   •   August 28, 2019

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon

 South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Wednesday (August 28) expressed regret over Japan’s ‘white list’ measure, vowing to refer the issue to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Lee and ministers held a meeting and agreed to provide 5 trillion won ($4.12 billion) from 2020-2022 to stabilize supply chains in affected sectors of the economy.

“We once again urge Japan to refrain from further worsening the situation and sincerely respond to our offer of dialogue to restore relations,” Lee said during the meeting.

Earlier in the day, South Korean ruling party lawmakers also held a meeting with Kim Sang-jo, policy chief of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and other government officials and decided to support damaged companies. (REUTERS)

(Production: Daewoung Kim, Minwoo Park)

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