Tokyo trains to halt at 2:46 p.m. for quake drill


Several major railways serving the greater Tokyo area will briefly halt their trains Sunday afternoon as part of disaster drills on the first anniversary of the Tohoku quake and tsunami disasters.

East Japan Railway Co. will not stop its trains Sunday, but each of the JR East branches planned tsunami drills Saturday and Monday and its employees were to offer silent prayers for the disaster victims.

On Sunday, Tokyu Corp., Sagami Railway Co. and four other private railway companies will stop their trains at 2:46 p.m., the time the earthquake hit eastern and northeastern Japan.

Tokyu and Sagami will ask their passengers to observe a moment of silence to remember the victims, company officials said.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Metro Co. said they will halt their subway trains at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Quake shakes Ibaraki

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 hit Ibaraki Prefecture and its vicinity early Saturday, the Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The 2:25 a.m. quake registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 in Takahagi and 4 in several other locations in the prefecture, the agency said.

There were no reports of fresh problems at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The temblor registered 3 on the Japanese scale in many areas in Miyagi, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama and Chiba prefectures. Its focus was in the northern part of Ibaraki Prefecture at a depth of about 10 km, the agency said.