updated 4/20/2005 12:04:22 AM ET 2005-04-20T04:04:22

A strong earthquake struck southern Japan on Wednesday, injuring at least 21 people, shattering windows and knocking down houses already damaged by a powerful tremor that hit the same area last month. There was no threat of tsunami.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8, hit at 6:11 a.m. and was centered in the ocean just west of the city of Fukuoka on Kyushu island, the Central Meteorological Agency reported.

The 21 people hurt — four of them seriously — suffered broken bones and other injuries, but none of them were life-threatening, said Naruo Kitamoto, a spokesman for Fukuoka Prefecture. Most of the injuries were from objects falling from shelves or from stepping on broken glass.

The quake damaged some 30 buildings and triggered several landslides in the damage zone, including on the island of Genkai, where several homes already damaged in a powerful March 20 quake were knocked down in Wednesday’s temblor.

Police said a 41-year-old woman broke her shoulder while trying to stop a Buddhist altar from falling from its stand.

Officials were still assessing the extent of the damage from the temblor, which was followed by several weaker jolts, said Fukuoka prefectural spokesman Yoshihiro Nakamura said. The quake shook large areas of Kyushu, and was most strongly felt in Fukuoka city, 560 miles southwest of Tokyo.

“My house shook rather violently sideways, although nothing was broken or damaged,” said Nakamura.

Several windows were shattered at a terminal building at Fukuoka Airport, and a wall was cracked at a factory in the town of Chikushi, police said.

Major highways were closed and railway services were temporarily halted, and the runway at Fukuoka Airport was closed to check for damage, NHK said. The airport later reopened, it said.

The agency said Wednesday’s tremor was considered an aftershock of the March 20 quake, which killed one person and injured hundreds.

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