• Kyodo

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Two moderately strong earthquakes rattled the opposite ends of Japan overnight, leaving one woman seriously injured, a government agency said Sunday.

The quake in Hokkaido registered lower 5 on the Japanese intensity scale to 7 in the town of Abira and 4 in parts of Sapporo, while the one in Kyushu registered lower 5 in the village of Ubuyama, Kumamoto Prefecture, and 4 elsewhere in the prefecture and adjacent Oita, the agency said.

Nuclear power plants in the areas — Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari plant and Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai and Sendai plants in Saga and Kagoshima prefectures, reported no abnormalities, the utilities said.

In Hokkaido, however, a 68-year-old woman broke facial and chest bones after falling down the stairs at her home in Tomakomai during the quake, which struck at a depth of 27 km, the local fire department said.

No injuries were reported from the shallow quake in Kyushu, which struck at a depth of 11 km.

The quake in Hokkaido struck at 11:45 p.m. Saturday and had a preliminary magnitude of 5.1. The one in Kyushu had a magnitude of 4.5 and struck at 0:58 a.m. Sunday, the Meteorological Agency said.

The quake in Kyushu is a continuation of the seismic activity that began in April last year when two strong level 7 quakes wreaked havoc in Kumamoto, the agency said. The direct death toll stands at 50.

Including Sunday’s jolt, the Kumamoto area has experienced 25 quakes registering lower 5 or higher since the deadly April 2016 temblors.

Both Kumamoto and Oita remain seismically active but seem to be quieting down, the agency said, warning that quakes of similar intensity could strike in the future.

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