Disasters & Accidents

One dead as two quakes strike western Japan

Tokyo, May 5 (EFE).- A magnitude-5.8 earthquake shook Ishikawa prefecture in western Japan on Friday, hours after a magnitude-6.5 tremor hit the same area leaving one person dead and a dozen injured.

The second quake struck just before 10pm local time with its epicenter in Noto, a peninsula north of Ishikawa, at a depth of about 10 kilometers, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which did not issue a tsunami warning.

The quake registered 5 on Japan’s 7-level scale, which focuses on measuring above-ground shaking and damage, in the prefectures closest to the epicenter.

The tremor came hours after another, larger earthquake struck the prefecture at the same epicenter at 2:42 pm local time, at a depth of about 12 kilometers.

A 65-year-old man was killed when he fell from a ladder in the city of Suzu (Ishikawa) and around 12 people suffered minor injuries across the prefecture, according to authorities.

The earthquake also caused regional railway services to be suspended, including the Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet train), which crosses the country and connects to Tokyo, the operating companies said.

A dozen bullet trains were delayed by more than two hours, reportedly affecting some 8,000 people, coinciding with a week-long vacation in the country known as Golden Week.

The authorities said that no irregularities had been detected at the Shika nuclear power plant in Ishikawa Prefecture, or at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in nearby Niigata Prefecture.

Japan sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, one of the world’s most active seismic zones, and suffers relatively frequent earthquakes. Its buildings and services are specially designed to withstand tremors. EFE


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