May 2015 – JAPAN – Another earthquake, with a 6.4 magnitude and a depth of 13.4 kilometres, has hit off the Izu Islands in Japan this morning following Saturday’s 7.8 earthquake, according to United States Geological Survey (USGS). There was no immediate tsunami warning following the quake. Saturday’s earthquake which struck off the Japanese coast, geologists said, shook buildings in Tokyo and set off car alarms – tremors were also felt in Nepal and India. Despite the huge power of the quake, there was no risk of a tsunami as the earthquake was located too deep inside the earth, The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported. Residential buildings swayed for around a minute as the quake built in intensity around 8:30pm (9:30pm AEST). There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The epicenter was 676 kilometers below the Earth’s surface and was centered on a remote spot in the Pacific Ocean around 870 kilometers south of Tokyo, the USGS said. Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, who runs a traditional guest house on Chichijima, one of the closest inhabited places to the epicenter, said the shaking had been violent.
“Initially a weaker quake hit and it stopped. Then the big one came. It was so strong that I couldn’t stand still and couldn’t walk,” he said. Both runways at Narita Airport, the main international gateway to Tokyo, were temporarily closed while inspections were carried out. Trains in Tokyo were also temporarily halted and a football match in the city was briefly suspended. There were no reported anomalies at any of the region’s mothballed nuclear power plants. Saturday’s rattle was the second sizable shake Tokyo had this week, after a much less powerful, but far shallower, earthquake hit close to the capital on Monday. On Friday, a volcano in the far south of Japan erupted, spewing a huge column of ash high into the sky and forcing authorities to evacuate the island on which it sits. The eruption caused no injuries and no damage was reported, but it served as yet another reminder of the volatile geology of the country.
Japan sits at the meeting place of four tectonic plates and experiences around 20 per cent of the world’s most powerful earthquakes every year. A massive undersea quake that hit in March 2011 sent a tsunami barreling into Japan’s north-east coast. As well as killing thousands of people and destroying communities, the waves also swamped the cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant, sending three reactors into meltdown. The nuclear disaster, the world’s worst since Chernobyl, displaced tens of thousands of people and rendered tracts of land uninhabitable, possibly for decades. –ABC .net.au