Posted in: Asia

Tokyo 5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Buildings, No Injuries Reported

Tokyo 5.5 magnitude earthquake rattles high-rises

Tokyo was rattled by a late evening 5.5 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The temblor hit eastern Japan on Saturday at 8:44 pm local time (11:44 am GMT) and was located at a depth of 39 miles, in the Chiba prefecture which neighbors Tokyo, the USGS says.

The 5.5 Tokyo earthquake rattled residents enjoying their Saturday evening and shook the skyscrapers that make up on of the largest cities in the world.

Authorities suspended the city’s high-speed train as a precaution to avoid commuters being trapped inside, the AFP says. After an inspection of the tracks, train services resumed.

Local broadcaster NHK reassured the public that, following the Tokyo 5.5 earthquake, neither Narita International Airport nor local nuclear plant installations were affected. No injuries have been reported.

The USGS also stated, no tsunami warnings were issued at the time.

The Tokyo 5.5 earthquake, comes a week after another quake, of the same magnitude, hit close to the same area and three weeks after a major 7.3 magnitude quake created small tsunamis on Japan’s northeast coast, prompting evacuations at the badly damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

On March 11, 2011 Japan’s northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest earthquake to ever affect the country.

This earthquake triggered a massive tsunami, which resulted in the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. The devastating event left up to 20,000 dead or missing.

The Tokyo 5.5 magnitude earthquake is certain to leave people weary. Following the event of 2011 cleanup work continues on the Fukushima plant.

The BBC reported that the high amounts of radioactive water stored on the site are reaching storage capacity, and there are numerous leaks throughout the entire plant, which are seeping into groundwater, rivers, and oceans and can impact marine life and the Earth’s ecosystem.

Prominent Japanese-Canadian scientist David Suzuki, warned last week that another earthquake magnitude 7 or higher in the area, could trigger a serious nuclear catastrophe, decimating Japan and reaching the US west coast.

“If the fourth (reactor) goes under an earthquake and those rods are exposed, then it’s bye, bye, Japan and everybody on the west coast of North America should be evacuated. And if that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is.” Suzuki said.

Japan is located on the Ring of Fire, with volcanoes and fault lines spanning the Pacific Basin, and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

Saturday’s 5.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Tokyo underscores how nervous people are after the 2011 catastrophe.

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