Tokyo: A powerful magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook the Tokyo area on Thursday night, however, officials said there was no major damage or danger of a tsunami. The number of injured people as a result of a powerful earthquake in Japan’s Greater Tokyo Area has grown to 32, media reported on Friday.
The Meteorological Agency said the quake was centred in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo, at a depth of 80 km (48 miles).
It caused buildings to sway and hanging objects such as signs to swing violently. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said there were no abnormalities at nuclear power facilities in the area.
NHK public television said a commuter train partially derailed when it made an emergency stop, causing three passengers to fall and get slightly injured.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said about 250 homes in downtown Tokyo temporarily lost power. “Shinkansen” super express trains in and out of Tokyo were halted for safety checks but later resumed operation, East Japan Railway Co. said. Tokyo’s Yamanote loop line and subways also restarted.
Outside of Tokyo’s Shinagawa station, where local trains were temporarily halted, there was a long line of people trying to get taxis home. Many elevators automatically stopped, including those at Tokyo’s metropolitan government building, temporarily trapping some people.
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.
New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida posted a message on Twitter urging people to “check the latest information and take action to protect your lives”.
Initially, its magnitude was estimated at 6.1, but then it was downgraded to 5.9. Japan is located in a seismically active zone known as the Ring of Fire and regularly suffers from powerful earthquakes. The 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the following tsunami killed over 15,000 people and caused the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)