Tokyo struck by powerful earthquake

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A powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Tokyo area on Thursday evening, Japanese officials said.

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The Meteorological Agency said the quake was centered in the Chiba region, east of Tokyo, at a depth of 80 kilometers (48 mi), but there was no tsunami threat.

Buildings shook as a result of the impact but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.


Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said train lines were blocked and there were sporadic power cuts, but there were no reports of any major damage.

Private broadcaster TBS, however, reported incidents of water pipe bursts in Tokyo. Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Corporation said there had been 250 cases of blackouts across the capital.

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The earthquake occurred at 10:41 am (13:41 GMT), and was recorded as “strong -5” on the Japan Earthquake Intensity Scale. The Japan Meteorological Agency said this is a level of ground motion that could cause some damage to buildings.

NHK reported that the new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida returned to his office. An emergency task force has also been set up, which the prime minister said was directed to “find out about the latest situation, coordinate with local authorities on the response”.

He also said that the task force will provide information to the public in a quick manner.

In a tweet, Mr. Kishida wrote: “Take action to protect your life while verifying the latest information.”

Earthquakes are not uncommon in Japan, which is located in one of the most seismically active regions in the world. In fact, 20 percent of earthquakes of magnitude six or more in the world occur there.


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