The Japan Meteorological Agency said today’s quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, revised down from an initially reported 6.6.
The focus of the 5:07 a.m. (2007 GMT, Monday) tremor was 20 km (12 miles) below the surface of Suruga Bay in Shizuoka prefecture, around 150 km (90 miles) southwest of Tokyo, the agency said.
TV pictures showed glass bottles shattered on a convenience store floor, a TV newsroom with video tapes thrown from shelves, and a temple where tiles had been shaken off the roof and were scattered on the ground.
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”There was a bit of shaking at first, then it got stronger and I couldn’t stand up. Elevators and other machines like the heater for baths have stopped running,” said a hotel worker in Omaezaki contacted by phone.
”Some files fell off shelves and lamps toppled over. Our guests are fine, but their families have called since the earthquake to ask about their safety,” she said.
Only minor injuries were reported, NHK said, although power was cut to 9,100 homes.
The main expressway down the Pacific coast was closed for damage inspection and many high-speech bullet train services were suspended for safety checks, NHK said.
Central Japan Railway company said on its website that the Tokaido shinkansen was not running between Tokyo and Osaka.
Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Co halted operations at its Hamaoka nuclear plant after two reactors, the 1,137-megawatt No.4 and 1,267-MW No.5 units shut down automatically following the quake.
The trade ministry said an alarm activated for high radioactivity inside the No.5 unit but that there was no radioactive impact on the outside environment.