More quakes rattle northern Japan

April 12th, 2011 by Mariah

Tokyo (CNN) — A fresh round of tremors, including one with a magnitude of 6.3, shook northern Japan on Tuesday afternoon, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported.

The quake was centered in Fukushima Prefecture, near Japan’s Pacific coast and about 64 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Workers retreated to earthquake-resistant shelters during the event, but there was no loss of power at the plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company told CNN.

It followed a magnitude-6.4 quake Tuesday morning that killed at least six people when it triggered a landslide in Iwaki, north of Tokyo.

The earlier quake buried three homes, the Iwaki fire department said. Three people were rescued and hospitalized, and fire officials were working to rescue an unknown number of others believed to be trapped, the department said.

The quake struck at about 8:08 a.m. Tuesday (7:08 p.m. Monday ET), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It had a depth of about 13 kilometers (8 miles) and was centered about 77 miles east-southeast of Tokyo.

Monday night, one person was killed in Iwaki and several others were trapped when a powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake triggered landslides there, the fire department said. It happened exactly one month after the country’s devastating 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami.

Since the March 11 disaster, there have been more than 400 aftershocks of magnitude 6.0 or greater, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, and more than 27,700 people are dead or missing, national police said Tuesday.

The earlier quake was centered about 100 miles (164 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo and about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of the nuclear facility, according to the U.S. 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.