Strong 6.3 Earthquake Hits Southern Japan, Causing Injuries and Damage
A strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Japan Friday, injuring at least 20 people and causing damage to a number of homes.
The US Geological Survey reported that the quake was centered just off the northeastern shore of Kyushu island in the Seto Inland Sea, which separates three of Japan's four main islands.
The earthquake, which registered as magnitude 6.1 on the Japanese seismic scale, caused no reported fatalities and did not trigger a tsunami. The quake hit at a depth of 82 kilometers.
The independent earthquake reporting site Earthquake Report indicated 21 people were injured and a number of homes were damaged around the region, including some with collapsed walls. At least two people suffered serious injuries, but they are expected to survive.
Yohei Hasegawa, director of the Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and tsunami observation division said that there may be an increased risk of rockfalls and landslides in the areas that felt the strongest tremors, according to AFP.
Two regional nuclear power stations, the Ikata nuclear plant in Ehime prefecture and the Shimane plant in Shimane prefecture, reported no abnormalities, the AFP reported.
Friday's quake came nearly three years to the day after a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Japan's northern Tohoku region, triggering a deadly tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. More than 18,000 people died in the disaster and clean-up from the nuclear incident is expected to take decades.