6.3 Japan Quake Destroys Houses, Leaves 23 Injured

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook western Japan Saturday, destroying several houses and leaving as many as 23 people injured.

According to Japan’s meteorological agency, the strong quake struck at 5:33 am near Awaji island in the Seto Inland Sea southwest of the city of Kobe at a relatively shallow depth of 9.3 miles.

No tsunami warning was issued following the temblor.

While no large-scale structural problems were confirmed in the quake’s wake, local officials said they have received reports of several homes that suffered damage to roofs and walls.

The National Police Agency said 23 injuries, including 14 in Hyogo, had been confirmed across five prefectures.

Several of the injuries reportedly involved elderly people tripping while attempting to flee.

An 82-year-old woman in Fukui prefecture suffered a broken leg after she fell to the ground, while another woman, 74, in Hyogo prefecture broke her hip bone.

Kyodo news agency reported that was also no immediate reports of damage to the Ikata nuclear power plant in the area, citing its operator, Shikoku Electric Power Co.

“Our operation has continued as we haven’t monitored any abnormality, but we are still checking if there is any damage to the facilities,” a plant official said.

ABC notes that Saturday’s quake near Kobe was the biggest to hit the area since 1995, when a 7.2-magnitude quake struck and killed more than 6,000 people.

More on the 6.3 quake in the video below:

Japan is among the most quake-prone nations in the world. In March 2011, northeastern Japan was struck with a giant earthquake and tsunami that killed almost 19,000 and displaced more than 300,000.