M6.6 quake hits southwestern Japan; no tsunami threat

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 rattled southwestern Japan early Saturday, causing strong shaking in the region but no threat of a tsunami, the weather agency said.
The quake occurred at around 1:08 a.m., logging upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Miyazaki and Oita prefectures on the country's southwestern main island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
At an intensity of upper 5, many people find it hard to move and walking is difficult without holding on to something stable.
The weather agency later revised the magnitude of the quake upward to 6.6 from the initial estimate of 6.4. It also warned of the possibility of another quake causing a similar level of shaking in the hard-hit areas within the next week.
After the strong quake, several smaller-scale temblors occurred sporadically in the area.
According to a local fire department, a man in his 40s was injured in a fall at his house in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture.
In Oita, water pipe ruptures were reported at several sites after the temblor, while the prefecture's city hall in Saiki suffered a power outage.
There were no abnormalities in the operation of nuclear power plants in the Kyushu region, Kyushu Electric Power Co. said.
Following the quake, the government set up a liaison office at the prime minister's office to gather information and assess the damage.
The quake was also felt across a wide area of western Japan as well as part of central Japan.

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