An earthquake, measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale, ripped
through the Hokuriku region of Japan on Sunday, killing one person
and injuring more than 160, demolishing houses, buckling roads,
triggering landslides and cutting off water supplies to thousands
The 9:42 AM quake, centered on the prefectures of Ishikawa,
Toyama and Niigata, destroyed some 40 houses and damaged another
200, Kyodo News said.
Reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency placed its
epicenter at around 30 kilometers southwest of Wajima City,
Ishikawa, in the sea off Noto Peninsula and about 11 km
The only casualty reported so far was a 52-year-old woman in
Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, who was killed in her garden when a
stone lantern collapsed on top of her, local police was quoted as
The agency further reported that a series of over 130
aftershocks had been registered by Sunday night, most of them lower
than a magnitude of 4.
The strongest was placed at a magnitude of 5.3, jolting Wajima
City at 6:11 PM. According to the agency, aftershocks could be
scattered over the next week, reaching 5 on the Japanese seismic
scale of 7, with the real earthquake registering at the upper 6
level. Reports are due from the weather service predicting the
likely scale of aftershocks.
The injured mainly hailed from the cities of Wajima and Nanao in
Ishikawa prefecture. Wajima saw around 1,800 people evacuated to
shelters whilst power failures temporarily engulfed 160,000
households in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, with water supplies
cut to a further 9,500 households in Wajima and Noto.
Noto airport was shut down after its runway and taxiing slip
road were cracked by the earthquake, the longest being nearly 100
meters long, Kyodo revealed. All Nippon Airways Co. announced the
suspension of all flights between Tokyo's Haneda and Ishikawa's
West Japan Railway Co. similarly shut down rail services in
Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures despite registering no train
derailments or injured passengers. Operations at nuclear power
plants in Niigata and Fukui prefectures were not affected, Tokyo
Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. both stated.
Some 400 members of police from nearby prefectures have gathered
to assist the stricken area, while close to 30 troops from the
Ground Self-Defense Force have arrived for investigation and
information gathering. Self-Defense Forces air units are also
flying surveillance missions, the report stated.
(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2007)