5.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan: state media

A damaged building following a strong earthquake is pictured in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. — Reuters/File

Several people were reported to have been injured as a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck Japan including Chiba Prefecture downtown Tokyo, reported Japanese media.

Japanese Meteorological Agency noted that the earthquake hit Japan at 4:16am registered an upper 5 on the Japanese earthquake intensity scale of 7 in Kisarazu and lower 5 in Kimitsu, both in Chiba Prefecture and 4 in areas including Tokyo’s Chiyoda and Shinagawa wards.

There are no warnings regarding tsunamis issued by the authorities.

According to the upper 5 scale definition, it is a situation in which people find it difficult to walk.

Since 2012, it was the first time Chiba Prefecture was rattled by an upper 5 earthquake, said the agency, warning further that a similar scale earthquake could occur for about a week.

The quake measured 4 in Mihama Ward in the city of Chiba and some wards in Yokohama and Kawasaki.

Two women were minor injured in Chiba Prefecture, with two others hurt in Kanagawa Prefecture, including a man who suffered injuries from a falling ceiling light while sleeping.

No casualties were reported from Tokyo, said The Japan Times.

Reports noted that the railway services that run through Chiba Prefecture including Uchibo and Sotobo lines, were canceled or delayed.

Roof tiles were dislodged in Kisarazu, and scattered on the ground while dozens of elevators, mostly in high-rise condominium buildings in Tokyo, as well as Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, stopped automatically due to the earthquake.

According to the elevator manufacturing and maintenance company Elevator Systems: Nobody was reported to be trapped inside.

The quake originated in southern Chiba Prefecture at a depth of around 40 kilometres. The agency initially reported a magnitude of 5.4 but later revised it to 5.2.

The residents were terrified after the quake although there were no serious injuries in the aftermath of the jolt.

Rei Ishii, 16, said at Kisarazu Station in the morning: “I woke up with the sound of an alert on my cell phone. I didn’t think it would be this big, I was so scared.”

Sachiko Uchida, a fishing boat operator in Kisarazu, said the roof tiles of her house fell and were scattered on the ground.

She said: “After a big ‘bang,’ there were strong horizontal jolts and I couldn’t stand. Then I heard a big noise and saw tiles falling.”

Although the quake was big, he didn’t see any big damage on his way to work, said an official at Kimitsu city hall.

Chiba Governor Toshihito Kumagai instructed officials to prepare for large aftershocks for the time being. “We must be fully ready to respond,” he said.

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