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Magnitude 5.9 earthquake rattles Japan, no casualties reported

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake rattles Japan, no casualties reported
Jun 3, 2024 10:10 AM

Earthquakes early Monday again struck Japan’s north-central region of Ishikawa, still recovering from the destruction of a powerful quake on Jan. 1, but the latest shaking caused no significant damage.

A magnitude 5.9 temblor on the northern tip of the Noto Peninsula was followed minutes later by a 4.8 and then several smaller quakes within the next two hours, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. There was no tsunami.

According to Ishikawa prefecture, five houses were damaged by the Jan. 1 quake collapsed in Wajiima, but no significant damage or life-threatening injuries were reported.

A quake alarm in the town of Tsubata, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the epicenter, surprised a resident in her 60s who fell from her bed, but the injury was not life-threatening, prefectural officials said.

JMA seismology and tsunami official Satoshi Harada said Monday’s quakes were believed to be aftershocks of the magnitude 7.6 earthquake on Jan. 1. Seismic activity has since slightly subsided, but Harada urged people to be cautious, especially near buildings that were damaged earlier.

According to West Japan Railway Co, Shinkansen super-express trains and other train services were temporarily suspended for safety checks, but most of them resumed.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities were found at two nearby nuclear power plants. One of them, the Shika plant on the Noto Peninsula, had minor damage, though officials said that did not affect the cooling functions of the two reactors.

Hokuriku Electric Power Co. said there were no power outages.

Monday’s rattlings rekindled fear among residents who are still struggling to recover from the New Year’s quake’s damages. NHK public television showed several people coming out of their homes and temporary shelters to see if there was additional damage.

“Many people who have been living at evacuation centers must have been frightened,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said, urging caution against potential falling rocks and landslides in areas that were shaken strongly.

Reconstruction occurs slowly in mountainous peninsula areas, and many damaged houses remain untouched.

In Wajima, which was one of the hardest-hit areas, an inn operator told NHK that he immediately ducked under the desk at the reception when the first quake struck Monday. Nothing fell to the floor or broke, but it reminded him of the January shakings and made him worry that a big quake like that had occurred even five months later.

The Jan. 1 quake killed 260 people, including those who later died because of stress, illnesses and other causes linked to the quake, with three others still missing, according to Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA).

Damages still remain, and over 3,300 residents remain evacuated.

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 6:33 PM