6.1-magnitude earthquake hit western Japan; 5 injured

Japan earthquake
A stone torii gate damaged by an earthquake is seen at Karita Shrine in Ohda, Shimane Prefecture, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo April 9, 2018. Reuters

At least five people were injured and buildings and roads were damaged after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit western Japan early on Monday, local media reported. The quake rocked the west of the main island of Honshu, 96km north of Hiroshima.

Although, the Japan Meteorological Agency marked the shallow tremor as 6.1 magnitude, Kyodo news agency reported that the USGS gave its strength as 5.7.

According to reports, a 17-year-old boy who broke his leg after falling from his bed due to the quake. However, there were no reports of life-threatening injuries.

Kyodo reported that nearly 100 households lost water supplies and 50 households saw their electricity cut. It added that some buildings and roads were also damaged. But, no problems were reported at the nearby Shimane nuclear power station.

"We want the areas that experienced strong tremors to be on guard in the coming week or so against quakes that could be as powerful as the upper five," the agency official Toshiyuki Matsumori told a news conference, referring to a Japanese seismic scale with a maximum intensity of seven.

A marking more than five on Japan's Shindo scale refers to tremors that make it difficult to walk without holding onto something.

Matsumori said that strong aftershocks could continue for two to three days. Meanwhile, the region that was hit by the initial quake has already been jolted by several strong tremors.

Japan is located at the junction of four tectonic plates and earthquakes are quite common in the country. The country sits on one of the world's most seismically active zone known as the Pacific Ring. But rigid building codes and strict enforcement mean even strong tremors often do little damage.

Reports say Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude-6 or greater.

In 2011, a devastating 9.0-magnitude quake struck under the Pacific Ocean and caused tsunami that killed thousands of people.