Magnitude 5.0 earthquake hits Tokyo and eastern Japan


TOKYO: A 5.0-magnitude earthquake has occurred in the Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan, near the capital city of Tokyo, the country's Meteorological Agency reported on Sunday. The USGS put the epicentre north-west of Tokyo, at a depth of about 44 km. There were no immediate reports of damage.  

The tremor was also felt in the Ibaraki area, a coastal prefecture north-east of the capital, at about 1:24pm (12:24pm Singapore time), the Japan Times reported. Broadcaster NHK reported that the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power station, which has been shut since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, was checked for damage after the quake but none was found.

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 “Shinkansen” bullet train services were temporarily suspended in the region, officials and local media said. Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year, but rigid building codes and strict enforcement mean even powerful tremors frequently do little damage. A massive undersea quake that hit in March 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into Japan’s northeast coast, killing more than 15,000 people and sending three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

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