Strong Quake Hits Japan, Casualties Reported

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

TOKYO (Worthy News) – Japan was shaken by a strong, shallow earthquake in the central part of the Asian nation on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring more than 20, but no tsunami warning was issued, officials said Friday.

The magnitude 6.2 quake struck Ishikawa prefecture on the west coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu, explained U.S. Geological Survey said. The Japan Meteorological Agency measured the quake at 6.5 and said it was centered at a depth of about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles).

“There was a big, long tremor that lasted about two minutes. I felt scared because the shaking went on and on,” a local government official in the city of Suzu, who declined to give her name, told public broadcaster NHK.

Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters in the capital Tokyo that one person was reported dead and there were “multiple reports of collapsed buildings.

The victim reportedly fell from a ladder, and at least 21 were injured in Suzu, officials said.

Shinkansen bullet trains were suspended between the cities of Nagano and Kanazawa, a popular tourist destination, but resumed less than two hours later, according to Japan Railway.

It came as a setback for families as Friday is a public holiday in Japan, part of a run of days off known as “Golden Week,” a time when many people travel for leisure or to visit family.

The tremor underscored that Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone nations. A massive 2011 quake in the country’s northeast caused a devastating tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown that still reverberates today.

Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Japan is haunted by the memory of the massive 9.0 magnitude undersea quake off its northeast in March 2011, which triggered a tsunami that left around 18,500 people dead or missing.

The 2011 tsunami also sent three reactors into meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, causing the nation’s worst post-war disaster and the most severe nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Authorities said no abnormalities had been detected following Friday’s quake at the area’s Shiga and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plants.

A 6.9 magnitude quake struck a fishing village in the same region in 2007, injuring hundreds and damaging more than 200 buildings on the Noto peninsula.

The peninsula is a rural area on the Sea of Japan coast known for its natural beauty.

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