Strong earthquake strikes southwest of Tokyo; 8 injured


AFP

TOKYO, A strong earthquake struck late Tuesday southwest of Tokyo, leaving at least eight people injured and sparking power failures across much of the city of Shizuoka, local media reported. The Japan Meteorological Agency put the magnitude of the quake — which came four days after the massive tremor and tsunami that has devastated Japan’s northeast coast — at 6.4.

The epicenter was located in Shizuoka prefecture, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of the capital, and near Mount Fuji, in an area prone to earthquakes. It is not the same area as Friday’s earthquake. The earthquake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of just 10 kilometers. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.4 and said it had been preceded a few minutes earlier by another 5.8-magnitude tremor. The epicenter of that was located 315 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. Power was cut to large areas of Shizuoka and high-speed rail service was suspended. But two nuclear reactors located in the area continued to function normally, Jiji Press quoted operator Chubu Electric Power as saying. Japan’s national police agency said Tuesday that the total number of dead and missing following Friday’s twin disasters had exceeded 10,000, with 3,373 confirmed dead and 6,746 reported missing.