Upper-5 Quake Hits Chiba Pref. for 1st Time in 11 Years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Roof tiles that fell due to a strong earthquake are seen scattered in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, on Thursday morning.

Four people were slightly injured after a strong earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 5.2 struck the greater Tokyo area on Thursday, registering upper 5 in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the earthquake, which originated in the southern part of Chiba Prefecture at a depth of 40 kilometers, occurred at about 4:16 a.m. There were no reports of tsunami.

The earthquake registered an intensity of lower 5 in Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture, and 4 in locations including Chiba City, Chiyoda and Shinagawa wards in Tokyo, Yokohama and Kawasaki.

It was the first time in 11 years that Chiba Prefecture was hit by an earthquake measuring upper 5.

The agency called for people to be cautious about earthquakes with a maximum intensity of 5 or so for about a week. There is also the risk of falling rocks and cliff collapses in areas where the tremors were strong on Thursday.

In Kimitsu, a woman in her 70s sustained an injury to her right shoulder when she fell over at her home. In Chiba City, another woman in her 70s fell from her bed and suffered a bruise to the back of her head. In Kanagawa Prefecture, two people were also injured.

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) temporarily suspended railway operations on some sections of the Uchibo, Sotobo and Kururi lines from their first trains on Thursday. Speed restrictions were temporarily imposed on expressways in Chiba Prefecture and the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line Expressway for safety inspections.

According to the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, no abnormalities were confirmed at nuclear facilities, including the Tokai No. 2 Power Station in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, which is currently out of operation.