Powerful magnitude 6.7 natural disaster hits southeast of Sapporo, Japan

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On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude quake, the most powerful ever recorded in Japan, struck under the ocean off the coast of the northern city of Sendai.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) continues to monitor the situation and stays in touch with the leaders of the Filipino community in Hokkaido to check the condition of our kababayans there and ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for", he said.

At least seven people have been killed and more than 2-hundred people have been injured after a powerful natural disaster struck the Japanese island of Hokkaido early Thursday morning.

Eight people are reported to have died, according to local media, while there are around 40 now missing.

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It comes just a day after a typhoon caused heavy flooding in western Japan, killing 10 people and leaving the main airport near Osaka and Kobe closed after a tanker rammed a bridge connecting the facility to the mainland.

Damage to transmission lines, transformers and other equipment from the quake is likely also delaying the restoration of power, DeWit said.

A series of smaller aftershocks followed the initial quake, the agency said.

There is no tsunami risk, the US Geological Survey said.

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Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors from a building damaged by a landslide caused by a powerful quake in Atsuma town in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018.

The outage also affected hospitals, subways, ATM money dispensers, and mobile phone networks.

The epicenter was east of the city of Tomakomai but the shaking buckled roads and damaged homes in Hokkaido's prefectural capital of Sapporo, with a population of 1.9 million.

The abrupt halt in supplies from Tomato-Atsuma caused such a huge imbalance in supply and demand that other power plants on Hokkaido had to be shut own, industry minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters in Tokyo.it may take a week to restore power fully to Hokkaido, he said.

Hit by the blackout, Hokkaido Bank was unable to open 113 of its 140 outlets in the region, while Kirin Brewery Co. canceled operations at its plant in Chitose on Thursday.

Both JMA and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there is no threat of a tsunami from Thursday's quake.

Making matters worse for emergency staff is the fact that the quake also knocked out power to much of the region, with close to three million buildings sitting dark as workers do their best to grapple with the damage.

The island's only nuclear power plant, which was offline, switched to a backup generator to keep its spent fuel cool and nuclear regulators said there was no sign of abnormal radiation - a concern after a massive quake and tsunami in March 2011 that hit northeast Japan destroyed both external and backup power to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, causing meltdowns. Widespread power outages were reported and the 119 emergency number was down in some areas.

Japan is situated on the "Ring of Fire" arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin.

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