5.6 magnitude earthquake shakes Tokyo
An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale has struck off the eastern Japanese coast, just north of Tokyo, the national NHK broadcaster is reporting.
Local news outlets say the quake was felt in the Saitama and Tokyo areas, with buildings swaying.
OnTae looks calm when the magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck. And jonghyunie looks scared and shocked pic.twitter.com/wyBtpStfWg— JT ♡ (@shineonfive) May 16, 2016
Metro operations were briefly suspended on all routes in Tokyo, but services restarted four minutes later.
Very solid tremor (M5.6) just now. Our home shook firmly, then we experienced the odd sensation when everything solid feels gelatinous.— Fernando Gros (@fernandogros) May 16, 2016
An elevator maintenance firm in Tokyo said several elevators stopped in the metropolitan area due to the quake with commuters asked to “use emergency buttons,” according to NHK.
Had a storm in Hiroshima and now my house in Tokyo is shaking because of this quake what is going on— Shoko Oda (@shoko_oda) May 16, 2016
TASS news agency reports that books fell from shelves and furniture shook at its headquarters in Tokyo.
No abnormalities reported at nuclear power facilities following M5.6 earthquake that jolted Kanto at 21:23.— The Japan Times (@japantimes) May 16, 2016
No damage was reported at airports, the Japan Times reports, citing officials.
Keikyu Airport Line In the aftermath of the earthquake in southern part of Ibaraki Prefecture, some train has been delayed.— TokyoToday (@LetsTokyoToday) May 16, 2016
However, NHK claims there was some panic just after the tremors when windows shook at a hotel where a G7 Science and Technology ministerial entourage is meeting ahead of a conference this week.
NHK: Shinkansen suspended between Tokyo and Odawara. Haneda Airport services unaffected.— Tokyo Outsider (@tokyo_0) May 16, 2016
A 5.6 quake is considered strong according to the Japanese 7-point scale. NHK reports there was no immediate tsunami warning, however.
TEPCO reporting normal conditions at Shibuya Eggman nuclear plant pic.twitter.com/hR1774YPTh— Shogannai (@Shogannai) May 16, 2016
Japan Nuclear Power Association says a reactor at Tokai Nuclear Plant in Tokai village has "suspended operation" due to the quake. Tokyo Electric Power reports no incidents at the plant.
Magnitude of earthquake that struck at 21:26 revised to 5.6. Lower 5 shindo in Ibaraki; shindo 4 in Saitama, Chiba https://t.co/jryp06kErk— The Japan Times (@japantimes) May 16, 2016
The Japanese meteorological society confirmed the reports of a 5.6 strong earthquake. It said the epicenter of the shocks was in the prefecture of Ibaraki.
Already reports of electricity outages— Stephen Stapczynski (@SStapczynski) May 16, 2016
No information of damage or casualties has been reported from the Ibaraki prefecture.
Meanwhile, the US Geological Survey has reported a 5.4 earthquake some 6km west of Iwai.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency says the depth of the quake was estimated at around 40km.
Strong earthquake felt in Tokyo. Epicenter M5.6 in Ibaraki. No tsunami. pic.twitter.com/XMeq4UWSXy— Yumi Asada (@yumi_asada) May 16, 2016
NHK: Just after the earthquake there was some panic in G-7 ministerial entourage at hotels where they are staying in Tsukuba. Windows shook.— Tokyo Outsider (@tokyo_0) May 16, 2016
This comes exactly a month after a devastating quake hit the Japanese city of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, with 200 aftershocks rocking the country following the initial tremor of 6.5 magnitude. Forty-nine people lost their lives in the tragedy, with some 110,000 people being evacuated from areas close to the epicenter.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, as the country is part of the seismically active "Ring of Fire," stretching from the South Pacific islands to Indonesia, Japan, across to Alaska, and down the west coast of the Americas.
In March 2011, a quake measuring a magnitude of 9 on the international scale hit northern Japan, triggering a tsunami. It caused the meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, resulting in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.