Far East wobble: China and Japan rattled by evening earthquakes

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck China’s southwestern province of Sichuan and a strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit central Japan late Saturday, the US Geological Survey said. China’s quake struck 39 kilometres northwest of the city of Kangding in the mountainous west of the province at 4:55pm (0855 GMT) at a depth of nine kilometres. Japan was shaken at 10:08 pm (1308 GMT), with its epicentre at a depth of 10 kilometres in the north of Nagano Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo. Only one death has been reported: A woman in her 70s died after being struck by a falling window pane, the official Xinhua News Agency and state broadcaster CCTV said.

The quake lasted only a few seconds, and that there have been some reports of cracks in buildings and toppled walls.

Xia, a duty officer at the Kangding county government

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage in Japan, although some traffic was disrupted with the road and train authorities checking safety, public broadcaster NHK said. There was no damage to any of the seven nuclear reactors at the sprawling Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in neighbouring Niigata prefecture as they have been off-line since 2011, NHK quoted the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., as saying.