Restoration work began Sunday as aftershocks continued to rattle the island of Kozu following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake Saturday afternoon that killed one local resident.
The powerful quake jolted the island at 4:01 p.m. Saturday, causing landslides and disrupting water pipes in more than 20 locations. Kenichi Furukawa, 32, was killed after one of the landslides buried the car he was driving.
The temblor registered a lower 6 on the Japanese intensity scale of 7 on Kozu, a lower 5 on Niijima, and 4 on Miyake and in the town of Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Its focus was estimated at about 10 km off Kozu.
The Construction Ministry and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have dispatched officials to survey the damage on Kozu, while the government’s emergency team in Tokyo discussed the prospects of further seismic activity.
Kozu, a 19 sq.-km patch of land in the Izu island chain, is about 170 km south of Tokyo and home to about 2,300 people. Aftershocks continued to rock Kozu on Sunday, with a 4.9-magnitude quake measuring 4 on the Japanese scale hitting at 8:28 a.m.
The quake also registered 4 on the volcanic island of Miyake, which is roughly 40 km southeast of Kozu.
Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo Sunday morning, an official of The Meteorological Agency said Sunday that seismic activity is expected to rise and fall before fading away.
The official, however, called for vigilance, noting that even minor jolts can cause landslides as the ground has been loosened by a series of temblors.
The focus of the morning temblor was about 10 km below the seabed near Miyake, the agency said.
“It’s more like we’re resigned to live with quakes rather than we’re scared of them,” said Kimie Muramatsu, a 50-year-old shop owner in Kozu. “After all we live on this island and there is no preventing quakes.”
Approximately 130 aftershocks shook Kozu from midnight Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, the agency said.