News Alerts

06 Sep 2018 | 03:32 AM UTC

Japan: One dead, 32 missing after Hokkaido earthquake; New Chitose Airport closed Sept. 6 /update 2

Japan News Alert

One dead and 32 still missing after 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Hokkaido; New Chitose Airport closed all day September 6; power outages and significant transportation disruptions reported; more aftershocks expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/5/2018, 12:00 AM until 9/8/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Tokyo). COUNTRY/REGION Hokkaido, Sapporo, New Chitose Airport

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A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit Hokkaido prefecture at 03:07 (local time) on Thursday, September 7, triggering landslides and power outages on the northern island. The quake was followed by a series of aftershocks throughout the day as large as 5.4-magnitude. According to local reports, one person was killed by the earthquake and 120 others were injured. A further 32 people are missing as of 09:00 on Thursday. Nearly 3 million homes lost power following the earthquake and the Tomari Nuclear Power Station shut down, though no radiation irregularities have been reported. No tsunami warning was issued.

New Chitose Airport (CTS), the main airport for the island, will be closed for all incoming and outgoing flights until at least Friday, September 7, due to structural damage. No damage was reported to the runway. Bullet train service was also suspended in some areas of the island, according to public media. Further transportation disruptions are expected and an extension on the airport closure is possible. Additional aftershocks and associated damage are likely in the coming hours and days.


A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck 27 km (16.7 mi) east of Tomakomai at 03:07 at a depth of 33.4 km (20.7 mi), causing "Very Strong" shaking, or seven on a scale to 10, for the areas around the epicenter and up toward Sapporo. Five aftershocks in the same region between 4.3-magnitude and 5.4-magnitude and at a similar depth have been registered by the US Geological Survey (USGS) throughout the day on September 6.

Japan frequently experiences earthquakes given its location on four tectonic plates along the Pacific "Ring of Fire."


Individuals in the Hokkaido area are advised to be prepared for possible aftershocks, anticipate transportation disruptions, and confirm travel reservations. In general, after a powerful earthquake, check for damages and take note of your surroundings. If indoors, shut off water, gas, and electricity lines and evacuate the building.


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