October 16, 2005

Moderate quake jolts Tokyo, no tsunami warning

TOKYO (Reuters) - A moderate earthquake jolted Tokyo and
its vicinity on Sunday afternoon, causing buildings in the
capital to shake, but no tsunami warning was issued and there
were no immediate reports of damage.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the quake had a
preliminary magnitude of 5.1 and was centred in southern
Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo. The earthquake's focus was
40 km (25 miles) underground.

The quake set off alarms in convenience stores and left
displays of goods in disarray.

Trains in the Tokyo area and surrounding regions were
generally running as normal, although some were running at
lower speeds as a precaution, national broadcaster NHK said.
There was no effect on Tokyo's Narita Airport, the broadcaster

Subway services in Tokyo were halted briefly, but have now
resumed at lower speeds, NHK said.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone
countries, with a tremor occurring at least every five minutes.

Located in the "Ring of Fire" arc of volcanoes and oceanic
trenches partly encircling the Pacific Basin, the country
accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of
magnitude 6 or greater. Every year, there are up to 2,000
quakes that can be felt by people.