TOKYO, Dec 31 (KUNA) -- A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of
5.4 on the Richter scale struck eastern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan
Meteorological Agency said.
However, there were no immediate reports of casualties and damage and no
tsunami warning was issued for the 10:03 a.m. (0103 GMT) quake.
Focus of the tremor was 10 km underground in northern part of Ibaraki
Prefecture, according to the agency.
There were no additional problems with the facilities at the
tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by the quake, which hit
around 80 km south of the plant, its operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
The quake registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic scale of 7 in the
prefecture's Takahagi City, about 150 km north of Tokyo.
The agency defines an intensity of lower 5 as strong enough to make hanging
objects swing violently and most unstable ornaments fall.
The Japanese scale measures how much places were shaken on the surface
while the Richter scale measures the energy of the quake itself.
Japan, located in a zone where the Eurasian, Pacific, Philippine and North
American tectonic plates meet and occasionally shift, is hit by 20 percent of
the world's earthquakes of magnitude six or greater.
The country was severely damaged by the magnitude 9.0-quake and ensuing
tsunami in March 2011 that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing and
damaged the Fukushima nuclear complex. (end)
KUNA 310940 Dec 13NNNN