Tokyo: A 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit western Japan early today, injuring five people and damaging buildings and roads, as officials warned stronger tremors could come in the days ahead.
The shallow tremor was gauged as magnitude 5.6 by the US Geological Survey and 6.1 by Japans meteorological agency on the Richter scale.
It rocked the west of the main island of Honshu, 96 kilometres north of Hiroshima, at 1:32 am (2200 IST Sunday).
The Japanese agency urged residents to stay vigilant.
“We want the areas that experienced strong tremors to be on guard in the coming week or so against quakes that could be as powerful as the upper five,” agency official Toshiyuki Matsumori told a news conference, referring to a Japanese seismic scale with a maximum intensity of seven.
An upper five on Japans Shindo scale refers to tremors that make it difficult to walk without holding onto something.
Strong aftershocks could continue for two to three days, Matsumori said, and several strong tremors have already been felt in the region hit by the initial quake.