A magnitude-5.9 earthquake occurred in the Sea of Japan, west of Hokkaido, Japan, at 1139 Jan. 12. The epicenter was about 130 km (80 miles) west-northwest of Sapporo. The tremor occurred at a depth of about 211 km (130 miles), and weak shaking may have occurred near the epicenter and parts of western Hokkaido. There have been no initial reports of damage or casualties. It could take several hours until authorities can conduct comprehensive damage assessments, especially in remote areas. Aftershocks are likely over the coming days. The event did not prompt any tsunami advisories.
Officials may temporarily shut down transportation infrastructure in the tremor zone to check for damage. Minor disruptions could occur during shutdowns, but service will likely resume quickly if officials do not find any damage. Utility outages cannot be ruled out, particularly near the earthquake's epicenter.
Plan accordingly for aftershocks. Consider vacating multistory buildings if operating in affected areas until authorities confirm their structural integrity. Allow additional time for air and road travel, as aftershocks may prompt brief disruptions. Seek updated information on road conditions before driving in hilly areas in the affected region due to potential landslides.
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