Magnitude 6.1 quake shakes Tokyo area; no tsunami danger

By Via AP news wire

A powerful magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook the Tokyo area on Thursday night, but officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries and no danger of a tsunami.

The Meteorological Agency said the quake was centered in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo, at a depth of 80 kilometers (48 miles).

It caused buildings to sway and hanging objects such as signs to swing violently, but there were no reported injuries or damage. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the authorities are investigating any possible damage. He said there were no abnormalities at nuclear power facilities in the area.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said about 250 homes in downtown Tokyo lost power.

“Shinkansen” super express trains in and out of Tokyo were temporarily halted, NHK public television said.

Many elevators automatically stopped, including those at Tokyo's metropolitan government building, and officials were using stairs, NHK said.

Yoshiyuki Yoshihara, an official in Tokyo's Adachi district, said a number of elevators stopped with people trapped inside but later resumed operation.

Videos taken in the busy downtown districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku showed cars moving and people walking on the streets as usual.

New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida posted a message on Twitter urging people to “check the latest information and take action to protect your lives.”

Kishida returned to his office late Thursday to lead the government's response.

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