6.6 quake hits Japan
Tokyo – Fires burned in northeastern Japan Monday evening after a powerful earthquake rattled the region on the one-month anniversary of the country’s devastating 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami.
The new earthquake triggered landslides that trapped several people in the city of Iwaki.
The 6.6-magnitude quake was centered about 100 miles (164 kilometres) northeast of Tokyo and about 30 miles (50 kilometres) southwest of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The landslides in Iwaki buried three houses. Police in Fukushima Prefecture initially reported that four people were trapped. The Iwaki Fire Department later said more than four people were trapped, but the exact number was unclear.
Authorities were trying to rescue them. Their condition was not immediately known, police said.
The earthquake did not cause a tsunami.
Workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which has suffered cooling problems and radiation leaks since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, evacuated briefly but soon returned to resume their efforts to cool the troubled facility.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan delayed a scheduled news conference as a result of the earthquake, his office said. The government wants to handle the immediate emergency before holding a news conference, the office said.
The Tohoku Electric Power Company said 220 000 households and businesses in Fukushima were without power after Monday’s quake.
Japan has been hit with hundreds of aftershocks since the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that killed at least 13 116 people. More than 14 000 remain missing. (CNN)