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Tokyo Is Rattled by 6.0 Earthquake

From Associated Press

A magnitude-6.0 earthquake shook the Tokyo area Saturday, injuring at least 27 people, rattling buildings across the sprawling capital and leading to the brief suspension of flights and train service.

The earthquake struck at 4:35 p.m. and was centered about 55 miles underground in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said. There was no danger of a tsunami, the agency said.

The quake was the strongest to hit the capital since 1992 as measured on Japan’s sliding scale of tremor intensity, Kyodo News agency reported.

The quake injured at least 27 people, including five who were hit by a falling signboard at a market in neighboring Saitama prefecture, Kyodo said. There were about 50 cases of people briefly trapped in elevators.

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Power in eastern Japan was not disrupted, but the main international airport serving Tokyo, in Narita, briefly closed its runways.

Bullet trains between Tokyo and western coastal areas also were suspended, but air and train services resumed later in the evening.

Tokyo has not suffered a major earthquake since a 1923 temblor that killed 140,000 people, but many experts say the capital is overdue for another.

A government report last year said a powerful earthquake under Tokyo could kill as many as 12,000 people and destroy 850,000 homes.

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Japan sits at the juncture of four tectonic plates, or moving slabs of Earth’s outer crust, and is one of the world’s most quake-prone regions.


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