5.1 earthquake hits north of Tokyo

Monday, October 17, 2005

An earthquake that rated 5.1 on the Richter scale hit north of Tokyo, Japan on 16 October.

The quake was centered 40km underground, in the southern Ibaraki Prefecture.

The high-rise builidings shook but no major damage was reported and only two people were injured. No tsunami warning was issued

Local and bullet train services stopped to check the tracks but service quickly resumed.

Services at Tokyo's Haneda Airport were disrupted by there were no major delays.

The earthquake was rated 4 out of seven on the Japanese seismic scale and affected certain areas of the Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, with a tremor occurring at least every five minutes. Located in the Ring of Fire arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches partly encircling the Pacific Basin, Japan accounts for about 20% of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. Every year, there are up to 2,000 quakes that can be felt by people.