Buildings collapse after magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits Japan’s Ishikawa

No threat of a tsunami is in sight as an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 shook Japan’s western prefecture Ishikawa Friday, authorities said on Friday amid reports of injuries and collapsed buildings. 

The quake had a depth of 12 kilometres.

The earthquake struck 2:42pm on the northern tip of Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula on the Sea of Japan coast.

Meteorological Agency said: “There was no threat of a tsunami, but sea level changes of less than 20 cm were possible.”

According to the NHK reports, local police in the city of Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture — near the quake’s epicentre — the seism has reportedly damaged many buildings and hospitals were receiving patients with quake-related injuries.

It reported: “One man who fell off a ladder was showing no vital signs. Suzu Fire Department noted that three houses had collapsed and that two people were trapped in two of the structures.”

Strong 6, which was recorded in the city of Suzu, is the second-highest level on Japan’s intensity scale. The level of shaking can make it “impossible to remain standing or move without crawling,” the Meteorological Agency said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, in a press conference, noted that the government was responding to the emergency and is in the process of damage assessment.

Matsuno said: “We will continue to assess the extent of the damage and, in close cooperation with local authorities, will do our best to implement emergency-disaster measures.”

He also urged citizens of Japan to remain alert if local authorities announce any evacuation measures in any form.

The area could be hit by aftershocks of similar strength. An earthquake measuring Shindo 4 followed soon after the initial jolt, Matsuno added.

West Japan Railway said: “The earthquake led to the suspension of some train lines, including the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Nagano and Kanazawa stations. The shinkansen later resumed service.”

No abnormalities were reported at the Shika nuclear power plant located in Ishikawa prefecture, as well as at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in the neighbouring prefecture of Niigata, said Matsuno.

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