A powerful magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook the Tokyo area on Thursday night, injuring more than 30 people, damaging underground water pipes and halting trains and subways.
Traffic disruptions continued yesterday morning, with local trains delayed and commuters overflowing from stations.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the quake was centered in Chiba Prefecture, just east of Tokyo, at a depth of about 80km.
Photo: AP / Kyodo News
There was no danger of a tsunami.
It caused buildings to sway and hanging objects such as signs to swing violently. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said there were no abnormalities at nuclear power facilities in the area.
Most trains operated yesterday morning, but with major delays and entry restrictions to avoid overcrowding.
There was a long waiting line outside of Shinjuku station in Tokyo, and hundreds of morning commuters were overflowing from the Kawaguchi station.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency yesterday said that 32 people were injured, three of them seriously, from the quake.
Police in Chiba Prefecture, where 11 people were injured, said two women in separate locations sprained their ankles when they were thrown to the floor during the quake.
A commuter train partially derailed in eastern Tokyo when it made an emergency stop, causing three passengers to fall and get slightly injured, the disaster management agency said.
Others were injured in Kanagawa, Saitama and Gunma prefectures.
Tokyo Electric Power Co said about 250 homes in downtown Tokyo temporarily lost power.
“Shinkansen” super express trains in and out of Tokyo were halted for safety checks, but later resumed operation, East Japan Railway Co said.
Tokyo’s Yamanote loop line and subways restarted late on Thursday, but with major delays. Outside of Tokyo’s Shinagawa station, where local trains were temporarily halted because of power outages, there was a long line of people trying to get taxis home.
Dozens of people in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Chiba were stranded at stations, and some took shelter at facilities set up by local municipalities.
Many elevators automatically stopped, including those at Tokyo’s metropolitan government building, temporarily trapping some people.
Fire and disaster officials said underground water pipes were damaged in dozens of locations in Tokyo. In one district, water was gushing from the ground.
New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida posted a message on Twitter urging people to “check the latest information and take action to protect your lives.”
He said it was the strongest shaking in Tokyo since March 2011.
Kishida returned to his office late on Thursday to lead the government’s response.
Two-year-old Xu Haoyang (徐灝洋) has likely just months to live — but the only medicine that can help his rare genetic condition is not found anywhere in China and closed borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that he cannot travel for treatment. Instead, his desperate father, Xu Wei (徐偉), has created a home laboratory to create a remedy for the boy himself. “I didn’t really have time to think about whether to do it or not. It had to be done,” the 30-year-old said from his DIY lab in an apartment building in southwestern Kunming. Haoyang has Menkes syndrome, a genetic disorder
BURNING, LOOTING: The demonstrators called for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down over failure to deliver infrastructure, among other complaints Solomon Islands police yesterday fired tear gas in the capital, Honiara, as crowds of protesters set fire to buildings, including a police station, and looted shops in an eruption of anger at the government, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported. The protest was led by people from the Pacific nation’s largest island, Malaita Province, about 120km from the capital. They were demanding that Solomon Island Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare step down over failure to deliver promised infrastructure among other complaints, RNZ said. The protest began peacefully, but most schools and businesses in Honiara were closed by the afternoon as crowds tried to enter the
WIDE REOPENING DISCOURAGED: A study from Peking University has suggested that lifting restrictions in the style of the US, UK and others would be catastrophic China would face a “colossal outbreak” on a scale beyond anything any other country has yet seen if it were to reopen in a similar manner to the US. That is a prediction based on statistical modeling by researchers at Beijing’s Peking University. A switch from China’s current COVID-19 elimination strategy to a US-style approach with few restrictions would lead to as many as 637,155 infections per day, according to the study, which was published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. That would be the largest daily figure reported by any country since the start of the
MOBS, TEAR GAS: Anti-government protests deteriorated and led to looting and arson, as the Pacific nation’s PM said he regretted a return to the country’s ‘dark days’ Rioters torched buildings in the Solomon Islands’ capital of Honiara yesterday, targeting the city’s Chinatown district in a second day of anti-government protests. Eyewitnesses and local media reported that crowds had defied a government lockdown to take to the streets. Live images showed several buildings engulfed in flames and plumes of thick black smoke billowing high above the capital. It followed widespread disorder on Wednesday, when demonstrators attempted to storm parliament and depose Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Businesses operated by Honiara’s Chinese community were looted and burned, prompting Beijing’s embassy to express “serious concerns” to the Solomons’ government. The embassy “made representations