Powerful quake in Japan injures 32, disrupts train services
Authorities in Japan said on Friday that a powerful earthquake which jolted the country the previous day left 32 people injured, while also disrupting train services in the Tokyo area, affecting around 368,000 passengers in total.
Passengers awaiting resumption of train services in Tokyo's JR Shinagawa station. Image: Reuters
The earthquake that struck the capital region at 10.41 p.m. on Thursday night reached upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in parts of Tokyo and Saitama prefecture, reports Xinhua news agency.
The last time that people in central Tokyo faced such an intense jolt was during the massive quake of March 11, 2011, which devastated northeastern Japan and triggered a tsunami and nuclear disaster.
According to East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the strongest earthquake for the Japanese capital in a decade caused services on the Shinkansen bullet train and 16 local train lines cancelled or delayed from late night Thursday to about 3 p.m. (local time) on Friday, resulting in many late-night train passengers stranded and a commuter disruption in the morning.
JR East have resumed train services, but many passengers were forced to wait at stations due to delays.
After a train derailed in Tokyo's Adachi Ward, one of the areas hit hardest by the temblor, the operation of the Nippori Toneri Liner, a driverless guideway transit system in Tokyo, might remain suspended for several days, according to its operator.
The Japan Transport Safety Board has sent officials to investigate the derailment.
According to a tally by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, two in Saitama Prefecture and one in Chiba Prefecture sustained severe injuries among the 32.
Around 250 houses in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward briefly experienced power outages due to the earthquake, and water stoppages and leaks were reported in central Tokyo.
The earthquake also caused 28 cases of people being trapped in elevators in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures, but all cases have been cleared according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.