SENDAI – Aftershocks, including one registering magnitude 5, hit the Tohoku region Monday morning following Saturday’s more powerful quakes in the area, the Meteorological Agency said.
Thousands of residents remained evacuated and the Miyagi Prefectural Government received reports of a leaning electricity poll in the town of Wakuya and damage to a bridge in the town of Nango due to the 4:08 a.m. aftershock.
There were no immediate reports of injuries and no tsunami warnings were issued.
Some railway operations were temporarily halted and expressway sections were closed to traffic. Ceiling panels in the gymnasium of Nango Elementary School, which had been used as an evacuation site, came loose during Monday’s temblor, and local authorities had the roughly 100 people taking refuge there move to a junior high school nearby.
It was also discovered Monday that the temblors apparently damaged an earthquake intensity meter in the town of Kashimadai, near the epicenter. The meter has failed to function since Saturday morning.
Strong aftershocks of at least a lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 hit the town three times, but prefectural authorities left the meter unfixed, local officials said. They said they were trying to fix it themselves.
Monday’s tremor measured a lower 5 in Matsuyama, Wakuya, Nango, Monou and Naruse, and 4 and 3 in many locations in Miyagi and neighboring Iwate prefectures.
A lower 5 is described as a quake in which many people are frightened and some people find it difficult to move. Saturday’s quake measured an upper 6 in Miyagi Prefecture, leaving more than 500 people injured.
The focus of Monday’s magnitude 5 aftershock was about 10 km underground in northern Miyagi Prefecture, the agency said.
According to prefectural officials, damage to such industries as farming and fisheries as a result of the quakes is estimated to come to some 120 million yen.
SENDAI (Kyodo) Tohoku Electric Power Co. restarted a reactor early Monday in Miyagi Prefecture, although aftershocks in the region continued following a powerful series of earthquakes over the weekend.
The No. 1 reactor at the Onagawa nuclear plant, located in the towns of Onagawa and Oshika, will be ready to resume generating electricity by the end of the month, the company said.
The 524-megawatt boiling-water reactor, which began operating in 1984, was shut down last September.