A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit a wide area in eastern and northeastern Japan on Sunday, rattling buildings in Tokyo and jolting the nation still recovering from last year’s quake-tsunami mega-disaster.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injury and no tsunami warning was issued.
The quake struck at 10:58 IST, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said, as Emperor Akihito led the country’s New Year celebrations by asking people to work together in rebuilding the nation from March’s disaster.
There was no immediate information about abnormalities at nuclear reactors including those of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Kyodo News agency reported.
The epicentre of the quake was located near Torishima, a northwestern Pacific island about 560 kilometres south of Tokyo.
The mid-afternoon quake swayed buildings in Tokyo and surrounding areas.Meanwhile, in a New Year message, Emperor Akihito said: “Our country is now going through difficult times because of the earthquake and other factors.” “But I hope that the people’s hearts will always be with the afflicted, and that everyone will persevere and work together to build a brighter tomorrow.”
Japan lies along the Pacific “ring of fire,” an area of high seismic and volcanic activity.
Last year, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, leaving thousands of people dead or missing.
The 11th March earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves and sparked a nuclear crisis in the country.