Big earthquake hit at Kumamoto Pref. of Kyushu
A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 struck southern Japan on Thursday, but there was no danger of a tsunami or any immediate reports of casualties or damage.Japan's Meteorological Agency said the quake hit at 9:26 p.m. (1226 GMT) and was centered in the Mashiki town in the Kumamoto prefecture.
Footage on Japan's NHK national television showed a signboard hanging from the ceiling at its local bureau violently shaking. Kasumi Nakamura, an official in the village of Nishihara near the epicenter, said that the rattling started modestly and grew violent, lasting about 30 seconds. "Papers, files, flower vases and everything fell on the floor," he told a telephone interview with NHK. He said there were aftershocks. The extent of the damage is not immediately known.