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Moderate earthquake shakes Tokyo - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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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.

&#34The whole building was shaking…About 70 people were on the rink and people were screaming and scrambling to get off the ice,&#34 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.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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