View Full Version : Mag 7 Quake hits Japan

03-19-2005, 11:40 PM


TOKYO - A powerful earthquake rattled southern Japan on Sunday, swaying buildings and prompting warnings of tsunami. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude-7 temblor, which hit west of Kyushu Island at 10:53 a.m., was centered at an "extremely shallow" depth below the ocean floor, the Meteorological Agency said.

The agency warned of the possibility of 20-inch tsunami waves triggered by the seismic activity, and cautioned residents near the water to move to higher ground.

Police said there no reports of injuries.

Local officials in the southern state of Fukuoka reported water main breaks. Utility operators reported some blackouts.

The shaking, which lasted several seconds, was strong enough to topple desks and knock books off shelves, an official in Fukuoka told public broadcaster NHK TV.

NHK showed tall office buildings and street lamps in the center of Fukuoka, nearest the epicenter, shaking violently. In residential areas, cracks appeared in sidewalks and parts of retainer walls flaked off.

Kyushu Island is separated from South Korea by a narrow strait of water, and the quake was felt in South Korea's port city of Busan, where it was registered at between magnitudes 4 and 6 and briefly shook buildings. No damage was immediately reported, a police spokesman in Busan said on condition of anonymity.

A magnitude-7 quake can cause widespread damage if it is centered in a populated area.

- Frind