Strong Quake Jolts Northern Japan's Hokkaido


Tokyo, Dec. 12 (Jiji Press)--An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 4.4 jolted the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido early Thursday, measuring up to lower 5, the fifth-highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.

The quake, which struck around 1:09 a.m. (4:09 p.m. Wednesday GMT), occurred at a very shallow point under ground in the northern part of the Soya district in northern Hokkaido, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The temblor is unlikely to cause tsunami, the agency said. It registered lower 5 in the town of Toyotomi.

There had been no report on damage from the earthquake as of 1:30 a.m., according to local firefighters.

Following the quake, the Japanese government set up an information liaison office at the crisis management center of the prime minister's office in Tokyo.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press