A strong earthquake hit the capital and much of northern Japan on Sunday, killing one person and injuring another, shaking buildings and briefly halting some train and airline service, officials said.
The quake, registering 5.6 on the Richter scale, hit at 9:27 p.m. (5:37 a.m. MST), said a spokesman for the Meteorological Agency. The agency placed the epicenter about 36 miles underground near Utsunomiya, 60 miles north of Tokyo.The quake also shook all of northern Honshu, Japan's main island, a stretch about 360 miles long, but it caused no tidal waves, the spokesman said.
A local fire department official said Monday that Shigeo Ohikawa, 78, was taken to a hospital in Matsudo, east of Tokyo after suffering shock. He later died of a heart attack, the Japan Broadcasting Corp. and Kyodo News Service said.
A 61-year-old man also was injured after he was hit on the head by a falling vase at his home in Ibaraki, 63 miles northeast of Tokyo, a National Police Agency official said. The man was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
About 300 households in Chiba state east of Tokyo were forced to go without electricity for about 70 minutes after a power supply line was cut in the wake of the tremor, the police official said.
Japan Railways officials said trains in northern Japan were halted for about five minutes, while local train service near Utsunomiya was still suspended 90 minutes after the temblor.
Officials at the New Tokyo International Airport in Narita, 40 miles northeast of Tokyo, said they had closed the main runway to check for damage, but after 13 minutes the runway was reopened.
Subway trains in Tokyo also were stopped temporarily, including a two-minute shutdown of the Hibiya Line, which runs under downtown areas.
"We checked to see if there was any damage," said an official less than one hour after the quake, "but everything was all right and the trains are running fine."