An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale off the coast of Japan on Friday shook buildings in the densely populated capital Tokyo. According to the Japan Meteorological Authority, the quakes occurred at 7:03 PM (local time, 12:03 AM CEST) at a depth of 50 kilometers off the Pacific coast of the Chiba region.
Despite the severity of the earthquake, there were initially no injuries or damage. Due to the earthquake, train service in the area was suspended and the runways at Narita International Airport in Tokyo were temporarily closed. No tsunami warning has been issued. The country’s nuclear power plants also reported no abnormalities.
“It felt like I was on a boat”
Nevertheless, the earthquake was clearly felt in the metropolis of Tokyo, which has 14 million inhabitants. “It felt like I was on a boat,” said a presenter on the NHK public television network. “Waving from side to side that seemed to last more than 30 seconds.” Shortly before the quake, Japanese television stations broadcast information from the nation’s earthquake warning system, which warned the population of approaching strong quakes.
Japan sits on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in this area. Japan therefore has strict building regulations and earthquake drills are held regularly. In early May, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the inland Ishikawa region.
However, Japan is still haunted by the memory of the massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the country’s northeast coast, which triggered a devastating tsunami in March 2011 that killed about 18,500 people.
Earthquake caused devastating tsunami in 2011
The tsunami also hit the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing massive explosions and the collapse of three reactors. It was the world’s worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
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