Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Earthquake rattles New Zealand capital

Posted: 03 July 2012 1910 hrs WELLINGTON - A 6.2-magnitude earthquake rattled the New Zealand capital of Wellington on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties. The quake hit at a depth of 236 kilometres at 1036GMT around 173 kilometres northwest of the city, USGS said. The quake was strong enough to be felt by residents in the city. A 6.3-magnitude quake hit New Zealand's second largest city of Christchurch in February last year, flattening office blocks and toppling buildings onto lunchtime crowds and leaving 185 people dead. The sparsely populated country sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire", the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, and experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year. - AFP/ir

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Two Quakes Strike Off Japan's Coast


TOKYO—An earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Japan, shaking buildings in Tokyo but not causing any reported damage. It was the second large tremor to hit Japan on Wednesday, following a quake that struck off the northern island of Hokkaido.

The second quake, with a magnitude of 6.1, hit around 9:05 p.m. local time, and was centered in the bay east of Chiba prefecture at a depth of about 10 kilometers, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency website.

Japanese authorities said there was no danger of a tsunami. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it hadn't detected any problems with its nuclear reactors, including those at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, located farther north. Some train lines were paused briefly, but soon resumed service.

The quake followed a magnitude-6.8 tremor that struck off the northern island of Hokkaido earlier Wednesday. That quake sparked a small tsunami wave along Japan's northeastern coast, and prompted authorities to issue an evacuation warning. It caused no apparent damage.

Write to Phred Dvorak at phred.dvorak@wsj.com

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Earhtquake rocks Tokyo

Posted: 01 January 2012 1423 hrs

TOKYO: A major 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Tokyo Sunday as Emperor Akihito led Japan's New Year celebrations by urging people to work together in rebuilding the nation from March's quake-tsunami disaster.

The tremor struck at 2:28pm (0528 GMT) with its focus deep at about 370 kilometres (230 miles), Japan's Meteorological Agency said. The US Geological Survey put the depth at 348 kilometres.

Its epicentre was located near Torishima, a northwestern Pacific island about 560 kilometres south of Tokyo.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury and no tsunami warning was issued.

The mid-afternoon quake swayed buildings in Tokyo and surrounding areas but it did not disrupt the final of the Emperor's Cup football tournament under way at the National Stadium.

"Some people, who were walking, did not seem to notice the quake," a spokesman for Tokyo Disneyland said, adding business went on as usual at the theme park after some rides were automatically shut down.

He did not give the number of visitors on the day but estimated it at several tens of thousands.

Train runs and airline flights in and around the capital area were not affected.

A 9.0-magnitude quake and monster tsunami ravaged the country's northeast on March 11, killing more than 19,000 people, and crippled a nuclear power plant which has been since leaking radiation into the environment.

In a New Year message, Emperor Akihito said: "Our country is now going through difficult times because of the earthquake and other factors."

"But I hope that the people's hearts will always be with the afflicted, and that everyone will persevere and work together to build a brighter tomorrow."

Wishes for the nation's recovery appeared to have dominated as the new year started in Japan with tens of thousands of people flocking to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to offer money and pray for good fortune.

- AFP/cc