Moderate earthquake jolts Japan’s Honshu island

September 29th, 2010 - 3:40 pm ICT by BNO News  

KORIYAMA, JAPAN (BNO NEWS) — A moderate earthquake shook Japan’s eastern Honshu island on late Wednesday afternoon, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake at 5 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) was centered approximately 45 kilometers (25 miles) west-southwest of Koriyama, a city in the center of the Nakadori region of Fukushima Prefecture. It struck about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the strength of the earthquake at a slightly weaker 5.6 on the Richter scale, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

The agency estimated that approximately 6,000 people likely perceived ‘very strong’ shaking, which could potentially result in moderate damage. “The population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though some vulnerable structures exist,” the USGS said.

The USGS further estimated that approximately 44,000 people likely perceived ’strong’ shaking, while some 2.4 million people may have felt moderate earthquake shaking. Nearly 25 million others may have felt light shaking.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the earthquake. “There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage,” the USGS said.

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