By any standard, a 7.4 would be a major earthquake, but this was “just” an aftershock from the great 9.0 quake in March. See my previous posts, “Waiting for the 8.0 Aftershock,” “Japan’s Earthquake Shocks Continue,” and “What Does 9.0 Mean?”
The 7.4 aftershock occurred Thursday and resulted in the deaths of at least two people (now updated to three confirmed dead), and injuries to dozens of others. It also caused the evacuation of the Fukushima Power Plant, where workers are struggling to contain leaking radioactivity. A major power blackout occurred, affecting millions of people and major manufacturing plants, including Sony and other electronic concerns, according to Reuters.
This powerful aftershock makes it difficult for the Japanese to rebuild their damaged plants. The rebuilt plants need to be exceedingly strong to resist future quakes, and that it makes it much more expensive to rebuild where they are. The rolling power blackouts, coupled with this latest, major blackout, also complicates rebuilding plans. Toshiba, Panasonic, Toyota, and Nissan are but a small sample of the companies affected. Please see the Reuters article for a more complete list.
The tsunami warning issued immediately after the quake was cancelled when no wave developed. You can imagine how relieved residents along the coast must have been.
Here’s a YouTube video for you of this latest aftershock. You’ll notice a couple of things as you watch this. The shaking doesn’t last nearly as long as the big quake, and the loss of power doesn’t immediately darken the computer monitors, which are on battery backup, no doubt. Also, you have to admire the calmness of the Japanese workers in this office. Considering all that these people have been through, they are still amazingly calm in this situation. Lets keep all of them in our thoughts and prayers.