A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Japan last night, causing deaths and injuries, and prompting authorities to issue a tsunami warning for parts of the coast near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said 4 people have died, and the government will remain on high alert in anticipation of further strong tremors in two or three days.
At least 107 others were reported injured, some seriously.
The epicenter of the undersea earthquake just before midnight (14:36 GMT) was located off the Fukushima prefecture, at a depth of 60 km.
The Japan Meteorological Agency also warned of a tsunami, but the warning was canceled early Thursday morning.
The earthquake cut off the power grid of more than two million homes, including 700,000 in Tokyo, but the power was restored to most of them within 3 hours, while 24,000 homes in northeastern Japan were still without electricity this morning.
The quake also led to the indefinite suspension of high-speed rail (Shinkansen) service, and the closure of at least one major highway leading to the area for road checks.
Parts of building facades have collapsed in some areas, an express train has derailed, several highways have been cracked, and goods have fallen off shelves in most supermarkets.
“We have received reports that there are no malfunctions at the Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants in Fukushima, as well as at the Onagawa nuclear plant,” government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said, referring to the facility that suffered a disaster in 2011 and two others in the area.