Strong quake jolts Japanese islands

Kyodo News

Posted at Dec 09 2021 04:33 PM

A strong quake jolted an island chain in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Thursday but no tsunami warning was issued and there have been no reports of injuries or serious damage.

The magnitude-6.1 quake, which hit at around 11:05 a.m., measured upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 on Akuseki Island, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The focus was at a depth of 14 kilometers, with the epicenter in waters near the Tokara island chain.

Municipal authorities said they have confirmed the safety of 64 residents and 12 visiting workers on Akuseki Island, situated more than 300 km from Kagoshima city on the main island of Kyushu.

The island was hit by a magnitude-5.9 quake on Oct. 2, 2000, causing damage including to water pipes, the weather agency said.

Kyushu Railway Co. said its Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train services were briefly halted due to a power outage after the earthquake but resumed about 15 minutes later.

"Earthquakes of upper 5 levels on the intensity scale can occur for the time being," an agency official warned at a press conference after the quake hit Toshima village consisting of seven inhabited islands in the prefecture.

The central government set up a liaison office to gather information.

Over 240 earthquakes have rattled the area around the Tokara island chain since Saturday, according to the weather agency.

The area around the chain has gone through frequent seismic activities in the past as well, the agency said.

Between April 9 and 30 this year, 265 quakes measuring 1 or higher on the Japanese seismic intensity scale occurred, with six of them measuring 4 on the intensity scale.