A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 jolted western and southern Japan yesterday, injuring at least seven people and disrupting transport.
The focus was 140 kilometres below the earth's surface in Oita prefecture on Kyushu island, about 800 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The quake halted some local rail services, while bullet trains were forced to run at reduced speed as safety checks were made, public broadcaster NHK said.
Major cities to feel the full effect included Hiroshima, site of the world's first atomic bomb attack and home to car manufacturing plants owned by Mazda Motor Corp.
At least seven people were injured, including an 82-year-old woman who broke her leg while walking her dog, Kyodo news agency reported.
Nuclear power plants and oil refineries were operating normally after the tremor, company officials said.
Mazda said the quake caused no damage to its plants in the region, although the start of production was slightly delayed.
Toshiba Corp, the world's fourth-largest chip maker, said its plant in western Japan had resumed normal operations after some production facilities came to an automatic halt following the earthquake. There were no casualties and little disruption of output at the Oita plant, which makes system chips.
The earthquake, which struck at 5:01 am (2001 GMT), measured "lower 5" on the seven-point Japanese intensity scale, which measures ground motion. A quake with that reading can damage roads and less earthquake-resistant buildings.
Source: China Daily