Published on : Sunday, November 17, 2013
TOKYO: Heavy tremors were felt as a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Japan on Saturday evening, according to the US Geological Survey. The tremors caused skyscrapers to shake in Tokyo and temporarily stopped high-speed trains. The quake hit at 8:44pm local time (1144 GMT) at a depth of 63 kilometres (39 miles), in the Chiba prefecture neighbouring Tokyo. Service on a high-speed train line was briefly halted but later resumed after a track inspection. Neither the Tokyo-Narita airport nor any nuclear installation in the region was affected, public broadcaster NHK said. The tremor came exactly a week after another 5.5 magnitude quake struck close to the capital, and three weeks after a major 7.1 magnitude quake generated small tsunamis on Japan’s north-east coast, without causing damage or casualties. More than 18,000 people died when a 9.0-magnitude sub-sea earthquake sent a towering tsunami sweeping into Japan’s northeast coast in March 2011 in the country’s worst post-World War II disaster. Cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant got knocked out, sending reactors into meltdown and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.
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