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Police Order 122 to Evacuate After Quake Cracks Slope

December 20, 1987

TOKYO (AP) _ Police ordered 122 people to leave their homes Sunday because of fears of landslides in hills where a strong earthquake three days earlier had opened cracks.

The evacuations were ordered in two towns in Chiba prefecture, where a quake last Thursday killed two people and injured 59, seven seriously. At least 10 other people were injured in Tokyo, just west of Chiba, and other neighboring areas.

A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that on Saturday, people in Naruto town discoverd a crack 165 feet long and 20 inches wide on the slope of a small hill.

A similar crack also was found in Matsuo town, the official said.

″The cracks might cause landslides if it rains,″ he said.

Yasuo Yagi, an official of the Chiba government office, said 3,000 households still were without gas service and about 20,000 households still were without running water Sunday night because of pipelines broken by the quake.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter scale, was centered in the ocean about 54 miles off the eastern coast of Chiba.

The Richter scale is a gauge of the energy released by an earthquake, as measured by the ground motion recorded on a seismograph. Every increase of one number means that the ground motion is 10 times greater.

A quake of magnitude 6 can cause severe damage in populated areas and a quake of magnitude 7 is considered a major earthquake, capable of widespread, heavy damage in populated areas.

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