Strong earthquake jolts eastern Japan, no damage

August 1st, 2011 - 11:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

TOKYO (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck Suruga Bay in eastern Japan on late Monday evening, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake at 11.58 p.m. local time (1458 GMT) was centered in Suruga Bay, about 32 kilometers (19 miles) south of Shizuoka, the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture. It struck about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Tremors with an intensity of 5 minus on the Japanese seismic scale of 0 to 7 were felt in several areas near the coast, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measured the strength of the earthquake at 5.9 on the Richter scale, estimated that some 740,000 people in the region may have felt strong shaking.

Because earthquakes with a magnitude below 7 do normally not generate tsunamis, neither JMA nor the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch or warning. “Although there may be slight sea-level changes in coastal regions, this earthquake has caused no damage to Japan,” JMA said.

Japan, which is on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, is still recovering from an enormous 9.0-magnitude earthquake which struck off the coast of northeastern Japan on March 11, generating a large tsunami. The earthquake and resulting tsunami left at least 15,597 people killed while 4,980 others remain missing and feared dead.

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