WASHINGTON, April 7, 2011 — U.S. forces in Japan providing support after a devastating earthquake and tsunami last month appear to have dodged a bullet as yet another earthquake rocked northeast Japan today.
“We have received no reports of injury or damage to U.S. forces or assets in Japan,” said Army Maj. Matt Hasson, a public affairs officer at U.S. Pacific Command. “U.S. forces continue to support the government and people of Japan and are positioned for sustained support.”
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the strongest yet since the March 11 earthquake and follow-on tsunami that left almost 30,000 dead, struck off the coast of Sendai just after 11:30 p.m. local time, officials reported. It reportedly lasted about 30 seconds.
A warning issued for tsunami waves up to about 3 feet high was cancelled about an hour later.
Thousands of U.S. forces have been assisting Japan since the March 11 disaster during Operation Tomodachi.
Navy Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, told American Forces Press Service earlier this week the U.S. military will continue to stand squarely with Japan for as long as needed, even as the focus begins to turn from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to consequence management.
“This is an enduring commitment. This is an enduring relationship,” Walsh said. “So we are posturing ourselves for a long-term support and an enduring commitment.”
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)