A powerful earthquake struck Tottori Prefecture and surrounding areas shortly after 2 p.m. on Oct. 21, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.
The 2:07 p.m. quake, which had an estimated magnitude of 6.6, measured a lower 6 on the 7-point Japanese seismic intensity scale in some parts of the Tottori Prefecture city of Kurayoshi, the town of Yurihama and the town of Hokuei, the agency said. It measured an upper 5 in parts of the city of Tottori, as well as in parts of neighboring Okayama Prefecture.
Reports said that several homes in Yurihama had collapsed. The Tottori Prefectural Government is in the process of confirming the information. The quake caused a blackout affecting nearly 32,000 households in Tottori Prefecture, Chugoku Electric Power Co. reported.
Firefighters in Tottori said that a female employee at a supermarket restaurant was taken to hospital with burns to her legs after an accident with hot oil when the quake struck. Elevators also stopped in the quake and there were reports that at least one person had been trapped.
Broken windows were reported over a wide area of Kurayoshi. A 53-year-old architect in the city, Katsunori Choda, said he was about to get in a vehicle when the ground started shaking, and pedestrians crouched on the ground to balance themselves. Soon afterward there was a blackout. Ambulance sirens could be heard and tiles fell from the roofs of old homes.
"I'd never felt an earthquake this big before," the architect said. "There is a lot of old town scenery in the area and I'm worried about damage."
Earthquake sounds could still be heard 30 minutes after the quake and aftershocks were reportedly continuing. The earthquake struck at an estimated depth of 10 kilometers, the meteorological agency said.
Services on the Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train were suspended between Shin-Osaka and Hakata stations following the quake, but resumed at 2:27 p.m., West Japan Railway Co. announced.