Japan Shaken By Another Earthquake

Sunday, October 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) — Two fairly strong earthquakes rocked western Japan Sunday, two days after a more powerful temblor buckled streets, knocked down houses and paralyzed traffic for hours in a nearby region, officials said.

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck Sunday afternoon and was centered six miles beneath eastern Shimane prefecture, located 380 miles southwest of Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency said.

``There was one strong jolt. But the shaking only lasted a few seconds,'' Shimane police official Masayuki Murakami said.

About eight hours later, a 5.2-magnitude temblor hit at about the same location, the Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

A magnitude 5 quake can crack walls in homes if it occurs in a residential area.

There was no concern of a tsunami wave as a result of the seismic activity, the Meteorological Agency said.

On Friday, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 7.3 struck a largely rural area in Tottori prefecture, 310 miles southwest of Tokyo. Tottori borders Shimane to the east.

Though at least 120 people were hurt in Friday's quake, none of the injuries were reported to be life-threatening. Main transportation routes were almost fully restored to the area by Saturday evening.

Of the 2,000 homes damaged, only two were completely destroyed, Shimane police said.

The relatively light damage for such a strong earthquake has focused attention on the measurement of the magnitude, and officials conceded they might lower their assessment of the quake's strength.

Earthquakes continued into Saturday in Tottori. Sunday's quake was not considered an aftershock to the Friday tremor, said Meteorological Agency official Takeshi Hachimine.