May 2016 – JAPAN – A magnitude-5.5 earthquake hit the Kanto region Monday evening, shaking northern Ibaraki Prefecture with an intensity of lower 5 on the Japanese scale and 4 in wide areas in the region, the Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued. The focus of the 9:23 p.m. quake was in southern Ibaraki Prefecture, and its depth was estimated at around 42 km, the agency said. In Ibaraki’s central city of Omitama, it registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic scale to 7, indicating shaking strong enough to frighten many people and make them feel the need to hold onto something stable. The temblor swayed buildings in the metropolitan area.
An 8-year-old boy in Tsukuba broke his left elbow when he dived out of bed out of surprise at the shaking, local firefighters said. Although bullet trains and some other lines were temporarily halted, services were quickly resumed, railway officials said. No damage was reported at airports, officials said. Nuclear power stations in Ibaraki observed no abnormalities, their operators said. The earthquake also shook Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, where science and technology ministers from the Group of Seven nations are meeting.
Residents of areas that experienced strong shaking should prepare for further quakes as high as 4 on the seismic scale over the next two or three days, the Meteorological Agency said at a press conference shortly before midnight. The quake came a month after two strong earthquakes struck Kumamoto Prefecture, leaving dozens of people dead and destroying many houses. –Japan Times