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No major casualties reported after 6.6-magnitude quake hits Japan

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Tokyo, April 18: No major damages or fatal casualties had been reported after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 hit western Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters early Thursday.

The quake struck at around 11:14 p.m. local time, registering lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Ainan, Ehime Prefecture, and Sukumo, Kochi Prefecture, both on Shikoku Island, with the epicentre in the Bungo Channel, a strait separating the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku, at a depth of 39 km, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The quake left seven people with light injuries in Ehime and Kochi, and there were minor damages in some areas, including ruptured water pipes, dangling power cables, fallen streetlights, and a landslide on a national roadway, public broadcaster NHK reported Thursday morning.

The weather agency initially reported the quake as magnitude 6.4 but later revised the figure to 6.6, Xinhua news agency reported.

It was the first time since 1996 when the current seismic intensity scale was introduced that a quake with an intensity of lower 6 or higher has hit the island of Shikoku, located on Japan’s Pacific coast, the JMA said.

The quake caused no major damage to the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture, the operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. said.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. also said no abnormalities had been detected at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu Island.

IANS

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