A strong earthquake shook Japan on Saturday near the southwestern city of Kobe, leaving 23 people injured, seven of them seriously — mostly elderly tripping while trying to flee, police said. No one was killed.
The magnitude-6.3 quake left some homes with rooftop tiles broken and cracked walls, while goods fell off store shelves, according to the Meteorological Agency and Japanese TV news footage.
The earthquake was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, at a depth of 15 kilometres.
The quake was in the area where a magnitude-7.2 temblor killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.
TV news footage showed that some areas of the island had liquefied, a common effect of strong earthquakes.
The agency warned there may be aftershocks for about a week.
Japan is among the most quake-prone nations in the world. In March 2011, northeastern Japan was struck with a giant earthquake and tsunami, killing nearly 19,000 people and setting off a nuclear disaster.