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6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Tokyo

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TOKYO (AFP) – A powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook the Tokyo region Thursday night, but officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries and no tsunami threat.

The meteorological agency said the quake’s epicenter was in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, at a depth of 80 km.

It caused buildings to sway and hang objects like swing signs violently, but no injuries or damage were reported. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said authorities were investigating any potential damage. He said that there are no anomalies in nuclear power facilities in the region.

A Japanese national flag flies outside the Bank of Japan (BOJ) headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on September 27, 2021 (Photo: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tokyo Electric Power Holding Corporation said about 250 homes in central Tokyo had no power.

NHK public television said the “Shinkansen” high-speed trains in and out of Tokyo were temporarily suspended.

NHK said several elevators stopped automatically, including those in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, and officials were using the stairs.

Yoshiyuki Yoshihara, an official in Tokyo’s Adachi District, said a number of elevators had stopped with people trapped inside, but they later resumed work.

Videos taken in the busy downtown neighborhoods of Shibuya and Shinjuku showed cars moving and people walking in 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 their lives”.

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

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