Disasters & Accidents

M6.6 earthquake injures at least 9 in Japan

Tokyo, Jan 22 (EFE).- A magnitude-6.6 earthquake shook southwestern Japan early Saturday, leaving at least nine people injured, according to authorities.

The earthquake struck under the Pacific Ocean at 1.08 am local time (16:30 GMT Friday) about 40 kilometers deep off the coast of Oita and Miyazaki prefectures on the southern island of Kyushu, according to data from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The United States Geological Survey recorded the shake as M6.3 at a depth of 41.8 km.

In both regions the earthquake reached upper level 5 on the Japanese scale of a maximum 7 and focused on measuring the agitation on the surface and the affected areas, rather than on the intensity of the tremor, according to the JMA.

The earthquake was strongly felt in other areas of Kyushu and in the southwest of the island of Honshu, the main island of the Japanese archipelago, where an intensity of level 5 was also recorded, in which it is considered difficult for people to stay standing without holding on to something.

Local authorities reported nine people injured in falls and by falling objects in Oita and Miyazaki.

The earthquake also caused electricity and water supply interruptions in Oita, while no irregularities were detected in the nuclear plants located in Kyushu.

The central government has created an office to monitor the event to assess the material damage.

Aftershocks have occurred in the area since, and the JMA warned of the risk of more earthquakes in the coming days.

Japan sits on the Ring of Fire, one of the most active seismic zones in the world, and experiences earthquakes relatively frequently, so its infrastructure is specially designed to withstand tremors. EFE


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