Japan’s powerful earthquake causes 32 injuries and disrupts train services

Japan’s authorities said Friday that 32 people were injured in a powerful earthquake that struck Japan the day before. The incident also caused disruptions in train services in Tokyo, which affected around 368,000 passengers.

According to Xinhua news agency, the earthquake that struck the capital at 10.41 p.m. Thursday night was above the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, which is 7 in parts of Tokyo prefecture and Tokyo.

People in central Tokyo were last subject to such a strong jolt during the March 11th 2011 earthquake, which caused a tsunami and nuclear catastrophe in northeastern Japan.

East Japan Railway Co., (JR East) stated that the strongest earthquake in Japan for a decade left services on the Shinkansen bullet and 16 local trains delayed or cancelled from Thursday night to Friday afternoon (local time). This caused commuter disruptions in the morning and left many train passengers stranded.

JR East has resumed train service, but passengers were made to wait at stations because of delays.

According to the operator, Nippori Toneri Liner, a driverless transit system that operates in Tokyo, may be suspended after a train was impeded in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward. This is one of the hardest hit areas by the earthquake.

Officials from the Japan Transport Safety Board have been dispatched to investigate the incident.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported that two of the 32 suffered severe injuries in Saitama Prefecture and one from Chiba Prefecture.

The earthquake caused power outages in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward for around 250 homes. Water stoppages and leakages were also reported in central Tokyo.

28 people were also trapped in Tokyo’s elevators by the earthquake. However, all cases have been resolved according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.