National

M5.2 earthquake rocks southern Hokkaido but no tsunami warning issued

Kyodo, JIJI

An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 5.2 jolted Hokkaido on Friday morning, the biggest since a deadly quake rocked Japan’s northernmost main island about a month ago, the Meteorological Agency said.

The 8:58 a.m. quake, which occurred in a southern part of the island at a depth of around 30 kilometers, registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in the Iburi and Hidaka regions, the agency said.

No tsunami were seen after the quake. Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said it found no abnormalities at its nuclear and coal-fired power plants in the prefecture.

No injuries were reported in the towns of Atsuma and Mukawa, where the quake registered lower 5. A woman in her 30s sustained an injury in Sapporo, which recorded it as a level 3, after a shelf collapsed at her home, according to a local fire department.

The agency said the quake is believed to be an aftershock from the devastating quake that hit the same region on Sept. 6, which logged an intensity of 7 in Atsuma.

Seismic activities in the region will continue for the time being, said Toshiyuki Matsumori, director of the agency’s earthquake and tsunami observation division.

Matsumori also warned that buildings may still collapse and landslides may occur because strong rains and winds are forecast to hit Hokkaido over the weekend.

Although Friday morning’s quake temporarily suspended the operation of shinkansen and local trains, New Chitose Airport was unaffected, according to Hokkaido Railway Co. and the transport ministry.