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6.1 quake hits Hokkaido, no tsunami warning issued

February 25, 2023
An earthquake struck off Hokkaido in northern Japan on Saturday. — courtesy Japan Meteorological Agency
An earthquake struck off Hokkaido in northern Japan on Saturday. — courtesy Japan Meteorological Agency

TOKYO — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 struck off Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido on Saturday, registering a lower 5 on the country’s seismic intensity scale of 7, the weather agency said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said no tsunami had been issued following the temblor that mainly rattled the eastern part of Hokkaido at 10:27 p.m.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major property damage.

The quake, which occurred at a depth of 60 kilometers in the Pacific Ocean off Kushiro, also shook a wider region including northeastern Japan and eastern Japan, the agency said.

No tsunami warning was issued after the offshore quake, which shook the coastal cities of Kushiro and Nemuro.

The quake hit at 10.27 p.m. local time at a depth of around 43km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

In two municipalities in Hokkaido, the quake registered as a “lower 5” on Japan’s 7-point intensity scale, which measures ground motion.

That is usually a level where items fall out of shelves and unsecured furniture may move, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

An expert speaking on public broadcaster NHK warned residents to be vigilant against quakes for about a week.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The country has strict construction regulations intended to ensure buildings can withstand strong earthquakes, and routinely holds emergency drills to prepare for a major jolt. — Agencies


February 25, 2023
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