Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Several injured in Japan quake

Men look at fallen gravestones at a stone shop following an earthquake in Awaji, Hyogo prefecture, western Japan (AP/Kyodo News)

A strong earthquake has shaken Japan on Saturday near the southwestern city of Kobe, leaving 23 people injured, seven of them seriously - mostly elderly tripping while trying to flee, police said.

No one was killed.

The magnitude 6.3 quake left some homes with rooftop tiles broken and cracked walls, while goods fell off store shelves, according to the Meteorological Agency and Japanese TV news footage.

The agency had earlier said the magnitude was six, but later upgraded it.

The quake was centred on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, at a depth of 9 miles.

The quake was in the area where a magnitude 7.2 quake killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.

TV news footage showed that some areas on the island had liquefied, a common effect of strong earthquakes.

Japan is among the most quake-prone nations in the world.

In March 2011, northeastern Japan was struck with a giant quake and tsunami, killing nearly 19,000 people and setting off a nuclear disaster.

The agency warned there may be aftershocks for about a week.

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