Powerful Earthquake Hits Tokyo

A powerful 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Tokyo on Thursday evening. No major damages or injuries were reported.

  • People waiting in line outside the Tokyo station as earthquake suspends the train services
    People waiting in line outside the Tokyo station as earthquake suspends the train services

A powerful magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook the Tokyo area on Thursday night, injuring at least 17 people and halting trains and subways.

The quake was centered in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo, at a depth of 80 kilometers (48 miles) as per the Meteorological Agency, causing buildings to sway and hanging objects to swing violently. Local train lines were temporarily halted, and sporadic power cuts occurred. Fire and disaster officials said underground water pipes were damaged in dozens of locations in Tokyo. In one district, water was gushing from the ground.

However, officials stated there was no major damage or danger of a tsunami. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said there were no abnormalities at nuclear power facilities in the area.

New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tweeted, “Take actions to protect your lives while confirming the latest information.”

Earthquakes are not unusual in Japan, which is located in one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Indeed, 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude six or more take place there.

On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest in Japan on record, which was followed by a massive tsunami.