A powerful earthquake hit central Japan on Friday. The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5 and caused a number of buildings to collapse. At least one person has been reported dead and 21 others have been injured. The earthquake hit the central Ishikawa region in mid-afternoon at a depth of 12 kilometers.
Weather officials have warned residents of possible aftershocks and landslides in the days ahead. However, they also said that there is no risk of a tsunami. The earthquake was felt for about two minutes by people in the region.
More earthquakes hit the region later in the day, including one of 5.8 magnitude at around 10:00 pm. Elsewhere, a quake measuring 5.5 hit off the coast of the Aomori Prefecture in the early hours of Saturday.
Japan is known for experiencing earthquakes, as it sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. However, Japan has strict construction regulations intended to ensure buildings can withstand strong quakes and routinely holds emergency drills to prepare for a major jolt.
The earthquake comes during “Golden Week,” a time when many people travel for leisure or to visit family. Shinkansen bullet trains were suspended between the cities of Nagano and Kanazawa, but resumed less than two hours later.
Japan is haunted by the memory of a massive 9.0 magnitude undersea quake off its northeast in March 2011, which triggered a tsunami that left around 18,500 people dead or missing. The 2011 tsunami also sent three reactors into meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, causing the nation’s worst post-war disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl.