Earthquake hits Japan, leaves little damage

Updated: 2012-01-02 09:46

(China Daily)

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Earthquake hits Japan, leaves little damage

The New Year sunrise lights up an area devastated by the March 2011 tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo, Jan 1, 2012. [Photo/Agencies] 

High-speed trains brought to halt temporarily by magnitude 7.0 quake

TOKYO - A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 jolted eastern and northeastern Japan on Sunday.

Even so, there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and the tremors led neither to apparent damage nor a tsunami.

On the Japanese intensity scale, which measures ground motion, the earthquake registered as a 4 in central Tokyo, Fukushima and surrounding areas, according to Japan Meteorological Agency, which uses a different measuring system than the US Geological Survey.

A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power said there were no reports of any abnormalities in the aftermath of the quake at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plan, which was seriously damaged by a tsunami that struck the island country following an earthquake in March.

As a result of the quake on Sunday, high-speed train service in northern Japan was suspended for a short time but soon resumed operations, according to Kyodo news.

The quake struck near the uninhabited island of Torishima in the Pacific Ocean, about 600 kilometers south of Tokyo, and its epicenter was about 370 km below the sea, the Meterological Agency said. It did not generate a tsunami.

The quake did cause buildings in the Tokyo area to shake but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

No abnormalities were reported at Fukushima Daiichi or other power plants in the region, the public broadcaster NHK reported. The Hawaii-based US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning in response to the earthquake.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, which is in one of the most seismically active places in the world. The country is the site of or is near about 20 percent of the earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater that occur.

On March 11, the country's northeast coast was struck both by a magnitude 9 earthquake - the strongest quake in Japan on record - and a massive tsunami, which triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in the 25 years since the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.