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Earthquake shakes buildings in Tokyo


A 6.2 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Japan. The earthquake was also clearly felt in Tokyo: the tremors were so strong that the high building shook. So far there have been no reports of injuries.

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan shook buildings in the densely populated capital of Tokyo on Friday. As the Japanese meteorological authority announced, the quake was measured on Friday evening at 7:03 p.m. (local time, 12:03 p.m. CEST) off the coast of the Chiba region in the Pacific at a depth of 50 kilometers. Injuries or damage were initially not reported.

“A Rocking from Side to Side”

Because of the quake, train service in the area was temporarily halted, and runways at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport were temporarily closed. A tsunami warning was not issued. The country’s nuclear power plants also reported no abnormalities.

Nevertheless, the earthquake was clearly felt in the 14-million-inhabitant metropolis of Tokyo. “It felt like being on a boat,” said a presenter on public broadcaster NHK. “A side-to-side rocking that seemed to last for more than 30 seconds.”

Shortly before the tremor, Japanese television broadcasters broadcast information from the nationwide earthquake early warning system, which warned the population of imminent severe earthquakes.

A good one million tons of contaminated cooling water are to be drained from the damaged nuclear power plant into the sea.

Japan: Frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

Japan lies on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in this area. Strict building regulations therefore apply in Japan, and there are regular earthquake exercises.

In early May, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook the Ishikawa region inland. One person died and 49 others were injured.

In March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami on Japan’s northeast coast, killing thousands. In addition, the natural disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant led to the worst nuclear accident in the world since the Chernobyl disaster.