Several injured after 6.6-magnitude quake, aftershocks hit western Japan

TOKYO — Several people were reportedly injured after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 and a number of aftershocks rocked Tottori prefecture and other areas in western Japan Friday.

The major temblor was centered in the central part of the Tottori prefecture, with the epicenter at a latitude of 35.4 degrees north and a longitude of 133.9 degrees east and at a depth of about 11 km., revised from an earlier estimate of 10 km., according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

It logged 6 minus on the Japanese seismic intensity scale which peaks at 7 in Tottori prefecture and some other areas, and could be felt in most areas in western Japan, including Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

Dozens of aftershock followed, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 5 that hit Tottori prefecture at 14:53 p.m. local time. No tsunami warning has been issued.

Japan’s weather agency warned that earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 6 might still hit the quake-struck region in the following week.

Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said there had been no report of “major damages” so far.

Local governments said that there had been a dozen injuries reported and multiple houses sustained damages. The quake also caused a blackout affecting some 40,000 households in Tottori prefecture.

The Shinkansen bullet train service between Osaka and Fukuoka was halted for some time due to the quake but soon resumed operation, said local reports.

There has been no abnormality detected in nuclear plants in western Japan, said Japan’s industry minister Hiroshige Seko.

Shikoku Electric Power Co. said that no abnormality had been detected in the Ikata nuclear plant which saw the quake registered as 3 on Japanese seismic scale. The power plant’s No. 3 reactor has been back in operation since August. PNA/Xinhua