May 2015 – JAPAN – A powerful earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit northeastern Japan on Tuesday and was felt in a large part of the archipelago although no significant damage has yet been reported, the Japanese Weather Service reported. The quake, after which no tsunami alert was issued, took place at 6:13 p.m. in the Miyagi region and had its hypocenter located at a depth of some 50 km (31 miles). The earthquake was most severely felt in Hanamaki, in the southern part of Iwate prefecture, although it was felt less intensely in some 20 other districts around the country.
No problems or abnormalities at any of the country’s nuclear power plants have been registered in the regions affected by the quake, according to NHK television. Japan is located on the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire” and experiences earthquakes relatively frequently, and thus construction regulations in the Asian nation are very strict and there are rigorous emergency protocols that can be activated quickly to respond to such events. –FN