Magnitude 8.5 quake strikes off eastern Japan

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Picture Source: ABC News

A magnitude 8.5 earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan on Saturday, shaking buildings in Tokyo, but there was no danger of a tsunami and no reports of damage since the quake was extremely deep.

There were no reports of further irregularities at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, damaged four years ago in a massive 9.0 magnitude quake, or any other nuclear facilities.

The Shinkansen high speed train line had briefly stopped between Tokyo and Osaka due a power outage and some trains in Tokyo stopped as well for safety checks, causing crowds of commuters in some of the city’s liveliest areas to mill around outside stations.

The quake, centred off the Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo, occurred at a depth of 590 km (370 miles) and, unusually, was felt throughout much of Japan.  It caused buildings to sway in Tokyo — about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of the Ogasawara islands — and temporarily disrupted some train services in the city. About 400 houses in Saitama prefecture, just north of the capital, were without power, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.

According to ABC News, the meteorological agency did not issue a tsunami warning because the quake struck so far beneath the earth’s surface. Deep offshore earthquakes usually do not cause tsunamis, and generally cause less damage than shallow ones.

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