OSAKA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- A powerful earthquake hit Hyogo Prefecture and its surrounding areas in western Japan early Saturday morning, injuring 16 people.
The quake, registering a preliminary magnitude of 6, occurred at around 5:33 a.m. local time. The epicenter of the quake was near Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture around 10 kilometers underground, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Sixteen people suffered minor injuries in prefectures of Hyogo, Okayama and Osaka in the quake, local media reported.
The Japanese government has set up a task force at the prime minister's office following the quake, local media reported.
The West Japan Railway Company said it had suspended many of its train services in Hyogo Prefecture and surrounding areas for safety inspection.
A devastating quake struck Kobe and surrounding areas in Hyogo in 1995, killing over 6,000 people and injuring more than 40,000.