A 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted the north-eastern regions of Japan on Saturday, with authorities issuing warnings of a possible tsunami of one meter high, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported. The authorities noted that there were no immediate reports of casualties or infrastructure damage.
The quake hit Miyagi Province, near the East Coast of Honshu, with a magnitude of 7.0 and depth of 44 km at the epicentre around evening local time, an initial report from the US Geological Survey (USGS) stated. The tremor hit areas that were already devastated by the 2011 disastrous earthquake of 9.0 magnitude, which triggered a tsunami and nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant.
Last month, the region was also hit by a strong earthquake that injured dozens. According to Reuters, a JMA official, Noriko Kamaya, said that Saturday's quake is considered an aftershock of the 9.0 magnitude quake in 2011. Kamaya advised all to be cautious and stay away from the coastline as high waves are likely to hit.
The tectonic setting of Japan is influenced by the plates of North America, the Pacific, the Philippine Sea and Eurasia, which contributes to continuous earthquakes and active volcanoes in the country. According to USGS, the high population density in the region makes shallow earthquakes especially dangerous.
Japan has suffered from 9 major earthquakes since 1900 that have each caused over 1000 fatalities, leading to nearly 200,000 earthquake related deaths.