M6.1 quake hits western Japan's Shimane, 5 injured

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TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit the western Japanese prefecture of Shimane early Monday, injuring five people, while also causing a partial blackout and disrupting water supply in the hardest-hit city of Oda.

The quake occurred at 1:32 a.m. at a depth of 12 kilometers, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It registered upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7.

Four people were injured in Oda including a 17-year-old boy who fell from his bed at home, local officials said. A woman in her 70s in the adjacent city of Izumo injured her leg, also after falling from her bed.

Some 100 households lost tap water and 50 households electricity in Oda. A Self-Defense Forces unit has been dispatched to assist in water supply to the area based on a request by the prefectural government.

Damage to some buildings and cracks in roads were also confirmed. In Oda, an entrance gate at a Shinto shrine was destroyed and homes were damaged, forcing more than 100 people to evacuate at one point.

No abnormalities were found at the Shimane nuclear power plant, its operator Chugoku Electric Power Co. said.

Isamu Yamashita, an 81-year-old man who evacuated to an elementary school in Oda, said, "When the quake hit, I couldn't stand on my own and had to hold on to a column. I still cannot return home because I am scared of possible aftershocks."

A hospital in the city was forced to stop most of its outpatient services after a pipe in a water storage tank was damaged. The hospital received emergency water supply from the city to serve its inpatients.

West Japan Railway Co. halted some express trains in the region but road traffic was unaffected, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center.

In Shimane, a magnitude 5.1 quake struck in 1963 just two hours before a magnitude 5.0 quake hit some 10 to 20 km from the epicenter of the latest quake.

mainichi.jp

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Weather Alert Online: M6.1 quake hits western Japan's Shimane, 5 injured
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