Oh crap, not again

Just when we knew it wasn’t safe to go back in the radiation-contaminated water, THIS happens:

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture – the region worst affected by the huge March 11 quake and tsunami – at 11:32 p.m. local time on Thursday. Evacuation orders were issued for hundreds of homes along the northeast coastline.

Tsunami advisories were immediately issued, but were lifted approximately one hour later. The quake is the strongest of the hundreds of aftershocks that have shaken Japan since the magnitude 9.0 temblor on March 11. That earthquake caused a tsunami that destroyed thousands of homes, displaced nearly a half million people, and severely crimped the iconic fishing industry there.

The center of the earthquake was 40 kilometers below the seabed, about 60 miles east of the city of Sendai and about 90 miles from Fukushima, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) says that the quake hasn’t caused any further damage to the Daiichi nuclear power plant and that all the workers have been temporarily evacuated from the facilities. There were no injuries reported.

No injuries and no deaths; that’s a mercy. The death toll from the Big One stands at more than 12,000 by now. BoingBoing is keeping a running tally on the Japanese Meteorological Agency’s reports, and maps of the shocks as they occur, as well as a map showing the locations of all Japan’s nuclear power plants.

Meanwhile, it’s well past midnight on April 8 in Japan. Gonna be a long, nervous night for the locals, whose nerves can hardly be more strained.

How do you say “Hang in there” in Japanese?

PS: I have it on good authority (from a Zen Buddhist friend, Anthony, who’s into all things Japan) that the word is 頑張れ! (“Ganbare!”) Domo arigato, Anthony!

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