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5.7 earthquake jolts eastern Japan

A 5.7 earthquake jolted eastern Japan on Wednesday evening, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage and the  government said there was no danger of tsunami tidal waves.
/ Source: Reuters

A strong earthquake jolted eastern Japan on Wednesday evening, but there were no reports of casualties or serious damage and the Japanese government said there was no danger of tsunami tidal waves.

The 5.7 quake was centered about 40 miles below the Earth’s surface in Ibaraki northeast of Tokyo, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, which initially said the temblor measured 5.8.

Public broadcaster NHK said there appeared to be no damage to facilities at Narita International Airport near Tokyo but added that airport authorities were inspecting the two runways there.

Train and subway services in Tokyo were halted temporarily due to the quake, NHK said. Some services were soon resumed following safety checks, it added.

NHK also said that a nuclear plant in Tokaimura about 50 miles northeast of Tokyo was operating normally.

A fire agency official said at least one person, a woman, was injured slightly and two houses caught fire in Misato city in Saitama, north of Tokyo.

An NHK staffer in Mito, northeast of Tokyo, said buildings shook from side to side for about 30 seconds.

Japan is one of the world’s most seismically active areas, with an earthquake occurring every five minutes.

The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Memories are still vivid of the 7.2 earthquake in the western city of Kobe in 1995, which killed more than 6,400 people.