Strong Earthquake Rocks Tokyo
TOKYO (AP) _ A strong earthquake rocked the Tokyo area today, sending skyscrapers swaying and halting trains briefly. No injuries were reported.
The quake struck at 8:53 a.m. and had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6, weather officials said. It was centered 75 miles deep in Sagami Bay, southwest of Tokyo, and the depth acted as a buffer, an official of the Central Meteorological Agency said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The damage would have been worse with a shallower center, he said, noting that the 7.2 magnitude quake in Kobe on Jan. 17, which killed more than 5,500 people, was just 12 miles underground.
A quake of magnitude 5 is capable of causing considerable damage, while a quake of magnitude 6 can cause severe damage.
Today’s quake damaged roofing tiles on at least six houses and a window was broken in another home in Yokosuka, 30 miles southwest of Tokyo near the bay, said Osamu Shinohara of the Kanagawa prefectural police.
Service by Japan’s high-speed ``bullet″ trains was suspended for about one hour, with delays affecting more than 62,000 passengers, said Tomohiro Miyamoto of the Tokai Japan Railway. The quake automatically cut off electricity to the trains, but inspectors found no damage to the tracks, he said.