Sunday 31 May 2015

7.8 quake in Japan

Japan earthquake: Tremors felt across nation

30 May, 2015

A powerful undersea earthquake south of Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo and been felt across the country.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centred 874km (543 miles) from the Japanese capital, at a depth of more than 660m.

The earthquake struck at 20:30 local time (11:30 GMT). Buildings in the capital swayed for almost a minute as the quake built in intensity.

There are no reports of serious damage. No tsunami alert was issued.
Commuters are stranded at Ikebukuro station as railway service is disrupted after a strong earthquake hit Tokyo area, Japan, 30 May 2015

Crowds of commuters formed around some of the city's busier stations as trains stopped

However, Tokyo's fire department has received calls about people suffering injuries as a result of falls, broadcaster NHK said.

Reuters reports that services on the Shinkansen high speed train line between Tokyo and Osaka were briefly halted by a power cuts.

Some trains in Tokyo also stopped for safety checks, causing crowds of commuters to form around some of the city's busier stations.

Michiko Orita, a resident of the island of Hahajima, near the epicentre, told NHK: "It shook violently. Our Buddhist altar swayed sideways wildly.

"I have not experienced anything like that, so it was so frightening."

Naoki Hirata, of the University of Tokyo's earthquake research centre, said: "This was a very big quake... the shaking was felt over a broad area... fortunately, because it was deep, there is little danger of a tsunami."

Japan is one of the world's most seismically active nations.

In March 2011, a massive 9.0 magnitude quake started a tsunami that left nearly 20,000 people dead in north-eastern Japan and caused nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

Earthquake measuring 8.5 magnitude shakes most of Japan

No reports of deaths or major damage after strong quake strikes deep beneath Earth’s surface off the Ogasawara islands

30 May, 2015

A powerful 8.5 magnitude earthquake struck near remote Japanese islands and shook most of the country on Saturday evening local time, although it occurred well beneath the earth’s surface and did not trigger a tsunami warning. Several people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and there were no reports of deaths or major damage.

The quake struck off the Ogasawara islands at a depth of 370 miles (590 km), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The quake was powerful enough to rattle most of Japan, from the southern islands of Okinawa to Hokkaido in the north. It caused buildings to sway in Tokyo about 620 miles north of the Ogasawara islands and temporarily disrupted some train services in the city. About 400 houses in Saitama prefecture, just north of the capital, were without power, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

On Sunday morning, a second earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck off Japan’s Izu islands, which are north of the Ogasawara islands, the US Geological Survey said. It struck at a depth of eight miles with its epicenter 390 miles south-east of Tokyo.

The earthquake was not strong enough to generate a tsunami warning or close enough to the islands to cause any significant damage or injuries, said John Bellini, a geophysicist with the USGS in Golden, Colorado. He said it was considered a separate seismic event and not an aftershock to the magnitude 8.5 quake that had struck hours earlier.


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