A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7 hit eastern and northeastern Japan today, but there are no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no danger of a tsunami.
The quake, which measured 4 in central Tokyo, Fukushima and their surrounding areas, struck 217 miles below the sea surface at 2.28pm (5.27am GMT).
Such a deep jolt is less likely to cause damage than one close to the surface.It was centred near Japan’s Izu Islands, about 307 miles south-southwest of the capital, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Buildings swayed in Tokyo, but did not disrupt the final of the Emperor's Cup football tournament being played at the National Stadium.
A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power said there were no reports of any irregularities at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plan.
Some roads were temporarily closed and high-speed train services in northern Japan were suspended for a short time.
The Hawaii-based US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has not issued a tsunami.John Roos, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, said in a message on Twitter: ' 'Memorable start to New Year — about to greet Emperor and Empress for New Year when Imperial Palace began to shake.'
Japan, which lies along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire,' is one of the world's most seismically active countries.
It accounts for about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
Last March, the northeast coast was struck by a record magnitude 9 earthquake, and a massive tsunami, which triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years since Chernobyl.
The disaster left more than 20,000 dead or missing.
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