17 hurt in earthquake near Tokyo

Posted at 05/05/14 8:23 PM

TOKYO - An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 struck off the coast of Tokyo early Monday morning, jolting central districts in the Japanese capital, but no tsunami alert was issued, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

According to local police and firefighters, 17 people suffered injuries in Tokyo, Kanagawa and other prefectures in the Tokyo metropolitan area due to the 5:18 a.m. quake, which originated around 162 kilometers underground near Izu Oshima Island in the Pacific Ocean some 120 km south of Tokyo.

In Tokyo's Otemachi business district, the quake registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic scale of 7, the first time that level of intensity was recorded in central Tokyo since the devastating earthquake in March 2011. It marked intensity 4 at Haneda international airport and other central areas in Tokyo such as Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported no abnormalities at its nuclear plants in Fukushima and Niigata prefectures. Japan Atomic Power Co. said no abnormalities were confirmed at its Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Yohei Hasegawa, a meteorological agency official in charge of monitoring earthquake and tsunami, told a news conference that the quake's focus was different from that of a powerful earthquake that could occur directly beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area.

"As the latest quake occurred at a deep location, it is unlikely to be followed by active aftershocks," Hasegawa said.

All subway systems in Tokyo were temporarily halted after the quake, causing delays of around 10 minutes, according to operator Tokyo Metro.

JR East said its Keihin Tohoku and Chuo lines, both linking central Tokyo and suburban cities, experienced delays of around 15 minutes.

Shinkansen bullet services on the Joetsu and Nagano lines also had some delays, operators East Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. said.