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3/27/2007

Uncertainty ahead for quake-hit Japan peninsula

Breaking Earth News: Japan
Photo:
A prefectural employee sticks a warning sign to the wall of a collapsed house in the aftermath of an earthquake in Wajima, central Japan March 27, 2007. The sign reads "Danger."

Victims of a powerful weekend earthquake in central Japan that killed one person and destroyed hundreds of homes faced an uncertain future on Tuesday, with few signs of when life would return to normal. About 1,900 people spent a second night in evacuation centres as hundreds of aftershocks continued to jolt the area following Sunday's 6.9 magnitude quake, which struck the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture, about 300 km (190 miles) west of Tokyo. The tremor demolished 57 houses and seriously damaged more than 700 others, many of them old wooden structures with heavy tile roofs. More than 200 people were hurt, although most injuries were minor. Electric power was fully restored but some 8,700 homes still lacked running water, and troops and aid workers were distributing emergency supplies. Rain was forecast for the region in the evening, prompting fears of landslides.

SEISMIC NEWS
KANSAS - USA. An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.1 is considered small anywhere and would be barely noted in quake-prone areas. But a temblor of that intensity felt in northeast Kansas early Friday was one of only a few recorded in the region in 150 years. Records show a small earthquake was felt in 1881 at the Leavenworth-Douglas County lines and a minor quake was recorded in 1902 south of Lawrence. The largest-ever earthquake recorded in Kansas was in 1867 between Wamego and Manhattan, and registered between 5.2 and 5.5.

GREECE - The archaeological museum of the Greek Ionian Sea island of Cephalonia was closed on Monday after a weekend of seismic activity damaged the building and smashed items. An undersea tremor measuring 5.9 points on the open-ended Richter scale on Sunday toppled a number of exhibits at Argostoli Museum, smashing three of them. The museum building itself sustained minor damage, with cracks appearing in its walls. The museum, which displays antiquities from Prehistoric to Roman times and includes a valuable Mycenaean collection, will remain closed until the seismic activity is over. A number of aftershocks up to 5.1 points Richter were recorded on Monday. The Argostoli Museum was entirely destroyed in a 1953 earthquake that devastated the island. There were reports on Sunday of minor damage to homes and limited rock slides on roads, but no injuries.
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