6.8-magnitude quake rattles northeast Japan, no tsunami risk

6.8-magnitude quake rattles northeast Japan, no tsunami risk


Tokyo: The authorities said that a magnitude 6.8 earthquake occurred on the northeastern coast of Japan on Saturday, but no tsunami warning was issued.

At least three people were injured by Saturday s jolt, which produced strong shaking along parts of the eastern coast and was also felt in Tokyo.

There were no immediate reports of major damage, local media said.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the mid-morning quake hit at a depth of 47 kilometres (29 miles) in the Pacific, off Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture — near the epicentre of a huge 2011 quake which triggered a towering tsunami, killing more than 18,000 people.

Japan s meteorological agency said Saturday there was no tsunami risk.

But an agency official warned that strong aftershocks could hit the area about a week later, adding that due to recent ground shaking, it is expected that severe weather may trigger landslides.

NHK said two people were injured after a window in a station in Ogawa City, Miyagi Prefecture was broken.

Kazuto Takeda, an official of the prefectural disaster management office, told AFP: “We already know the news, but we are still collecting information.”

NHK also said that a woman in her 80s was treated in the hospital after she fell in a supermarket in Fukushima.

NHK said that the local railway company suspended services, while elevators in some buildings in Miyagi stopped.

Fukushima nuclear plant operator TEPCO said the facility, which melted down in the wake of the 2011 tsunami, did not show any abnormalities after the latest earthquake.

“Operations are under way as usual,” TEPCO spokesman Koichiro Shiraki told AFP.

Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The country is regularly hit by quakes, and has strict construction regulations intended to ensure buildings can withstand strong tremors.

In March, a strong 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeastern coast. It was later revised down to 6.9. Japan s authorities issued a tsunami advisory but there was no damage on the coastline.

The area was also shaken by another strong earthquake in February, and dozens of people were injured. Meteorologists said this was the aftershock of the 2011 earthquake.

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