A 5.5-magnitude earthquake jolted Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday (Feb 21). Although there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to property, the quake produced huge landslides, closed the Chitose airport, canceled trains and metro and disrupted mobile communications. No tsunami warnings.
The quake struck at 9.22pm (8.22pm Singapore time) at a depth of 41 kilometres and 55 kilometres southeast of the city of Sapporo, according to the US Geological Survey.
The Japanese meteorological agency confirmed there was no tsunami risk following the jolt.
Footage from public broadcaster NHK showed lights flickering on and off in a town close to the epicentre.
２１日午後９時２２分ごろ地震がありました。津波の心配はありません。震源地は北海道胆振地方中東部で震源の深さは30キロ、地震の規模を示すマグニチュードは5.7と推定されますhttps://t.co/NvtILbzTes#nhk_news #nhk_video pic.twitter.com/FsFK7J4l5D— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) February 21, 2019
“The government is doing its best to grasp the situation, but so far there has been no report of major damage,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo in the immediate aftermath.
No major blackout was reported, but problems with mobile communications have been reported.
No abnormality was detected at nuclear plants in the region, Suga said, adding that the government was prepared to mount rescue operations if required.
The earthquake closed the runways of the Chitose airport for a while.
北海道厚真町で震度６弱 津波の心配なしFebruary 21, 2019
新千歳空港の地震発生時の様子https://t.co/NvtILbzTes#nhk_news #nhk_video pic.twitter.com/uF4PbcRdI6
Shinkansen bullet train services were temporarily suspended in Hokkaido.
Provoking long line-up at taxi stops.
北海道厚真町で震度６弱— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) February 21, 2019
札幌 地下鉄運転見合わせでタクシーに行列https://t.co/tvc8KVKAEw#nhk_news #nhk_video pic.twitter.com/2lR5pjzpoF
In September last year, a powerful 6.6-magnitude quake rocked Hokkaido, triggering landslides, collapsing houses and killing more than 42. Scientists believe that the current earthquake is an aftershock of that in 2018 and forecast new earthquakes in the same area in the next 2-3 days. Here some aerial videos of the 2018 earthquake:
More than impressive!
北海道 震度６強以上だった可能性も 余震相次ぐ 十分注意を— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) September 6, 2018
#nhk_news #地震 #震度６強 #厚真町 pic.twitter.com/tsBv4dRuul
Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year.
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RARE SIGHT: snowfall seen in cities across SoCal
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Snow was falling Thursday in a number of Southland communities that rarely see freezing temperatures, much less snowfall.
The precipitation – relatively light in low-lying communities – was delighting many residents who were taking to social media to post pictures of the unusual sight.
Snowfall was reported in communities from Simi Valley to Malibu to Calabasas to Valencia to the Inland Empire.
Kitty cats reacting to snow in Southern California
So far, there is no death or injury.
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