Magnitude 6.2 quake jolts Miyake Island; Miyagi also rocked

Kyodo

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude 6.2 jolted Miyake Island, while a possible 5.8-magnitude temblor struck Miyagi Prefecture on Wednesday evening, injuring at least four, the Meteorological Agency and the local fire department said.

The Miyagi quake, which occurred at 9:03 p.m., registered an intensity of lower 5 on the Japanese seismic scale to 7 in parts of the prefecture. The Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants and the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi were not affected, their operators said.

A 70-year-old woman in Sendai injured her hip when she fell due to the quake, Sendai’s fire department said.

The 5:57 p.m. Miyake quake registered an intensity of upper 5, the agency said. The island is located some 180 km south of Tokyo.

No tsunami warning was issued following the quake, which originated at a depth of around 20 km.

A man in his 90s and a woman in her 80s sustained minor injuries, while a man in his 40s also was injured due to a broken window on the island, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

The temblor followed a series of quakes, including those with a preliminary magnitude of 4.4 to 4.7, on the island. They occurred at 10:15 a.m., 11:14 a.m., 11:16 a.m. and 12:22 p.m. and registered 3 on the Japanese seismic scale. The four quakes were focused near the island at a depth of around 20 km.

More than 10 temblors, measuring 1 to 2 on the Japanese scale, were also felt on Miyake on Wednesday evening.

The agency said no signs of a rise in volcanic activity were seen.

An official of the agency in charge of volcanoes said the island’s active volcano continues to spew large amounts of gas, but there are no signs of an intensification of activities based on data on crustal change.

Before the island experienced an eruption in 2000, more than 100 noticeable quakes occurred daily and crustal change data suggested abnormalities.