TOKYO (Reuters) – A moderate earthquake struck near Tokyo on Saturday, shaking buildings and injuring five people in a shopping center, the weather office and a Japanese news agency said.
The epicenter of the 5.7 magnitude quake, which occurred at 4:35 p.m. (0735 GMT), was 90 km (56 miles) deep in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo, Japan”s Meteorological Agency said, adding there was no risk of a tsunami.
Kyodo news agency said five people were injured at a shopping center in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo.
The earthquake caused a steel tower to collapse in Tokyo, and damaged the roof of a nearby building, it said.
The quake led to the stoppage of many train services, public broadcaster NHK said.
Tokyo”s Narita airport was shut down after the earthquake, but later re-opened after an inspection of the runways showed no damage, Kyodo said.
The earthquake shook buildings in Tokyo, disrupted some mobile phone traffic, and threw a scare into many local residents.
A witness said he saw a car park swaying in eastern Tokyo and that elevators had stopped at an apartment complex.
The quake triggered panic in an indoor ice rink in Kanagawa, south of Tokyo.
"The whole building was shaking…About 70 people were on the rink and people were screaming and scrambling to get off the ice," a Reuters witness said.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world”s most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world”s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
In October 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Niigata region, killing about 40 people and injuring more than 3,000.
That was the deadliest quake since a magnitude 7.3 tremor hit the city of Kobe in 1995 that killed more than 6,400 people.