Strong Quake Hits Southwestern Japan Isles


Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)--A strong earthquake rocked remote islands of Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Thursday morning.

The quake occurred around 11:05 a.m. (2:05 a.m. GMT), measuring upper 5, the fourth-highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, on Akusekijima, one of the Tokara islands in the village of Toshima.

The undersea quake with an estimated magnitude of 6.1 is believed to have occurred at a depth of 14 kilometers near the Tokara chain, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. No tsunami from the temblor was confirmed.

Noting that seismic activity had continued in the region in the past, Shinya Tsukada, director of the agency's Earthquake and Tsunami Observation Division, warned residents to remain alert for earthquakes with intensity levels of up to around upper 5 for the time being.

Seismic activity began increasing near the Tokara chain around noon Saturday. A total of 248 quakes measuring 1 or higher on the Japanese scale had occurred by 6 p.m. Thursday. According to the Toshima village office, all of Akusekijima's 75 residents have been confirmed safe with nobody injured.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press