Tokyo hit by 6.1 magnitude earthquake, bringing public transport to a halt and causing sporadic power cuts (VIDEOS)

The Japanese capital and surrounding areas have been hit by a strong earthquake, causing power cuts and stopping trains, although no major damage has been reported and no tsunami risk has been flagged.

Late Thursday, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 was registered around Tokyo. The tremor was recorded at 10:41pm local time (13:41 GMT) and registered strong-5 on Japan’s intensity scale – the level suggests that the quake could cause some damage to buildings and power outages. 

The epicenter was registered in Chiba prefecture, east of the sprawling capital, Tokyo.

Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, said the tremors had caused trains to stop and engendered sporadic power cuts. However, there were no reports of any major damage and no danger of a tsunami. Trains have since restarted running between Tokyo and Chiba, according to NHK.

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Tokyo Electric Power Corporation reported 250 cases of blackouts in the capital, while broadcaster TBS said that a number of water pipes had broken as a result of the tremors.

Images shared on social media show parked cars shaking and vibrations across the capital.

New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that he had instructed an emergency response task force to “find out about the latest situation [and] coordinate with local authorities” on their response to the quake.

“Take actions to protect your lives while confirming the latest information,” he tweeted moments later.

The Twitter account of the prime minister’s office told citizens to be wary of further shaking and not to travel in the afflicted areas.

Japan accounts for 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, and has registered some of the most powerful quakes in recent decades, including one at magnitude 9 in 2011 which, combined with a tsunami, led to the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant.

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