Disaster-weary Japan was rattled by another strong quake Friday, which measured at a preliminary magnitude of 6.8, triggered a tsunami warning and sent people diving for cover.
The quake struck the Pacific seabed not far from the epicentre of the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster that killed more than 20,000 people and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
Sirens again wailed along the devastated northeast coast, where people have been terrified by hundreds of aftershocks over the past five months, and the quake also caused buildings to sway across Tokyo.
The tremor struck at a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the Pacific coast, 80 kilometres southeast of Miyagi prefecture, at 2:36 pm (0536 GMT), according to a preliminary report from the meteorological agency.
The agency issued a 50-centimeter tsunami warning but called it off after only very small waves were seen lapping at the coast.
The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), quickly said there were no reports of fresh damage or abnormalities after the latest quake.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a destructive widespread tsunami in the broader Pacific Ocean.
Japan, located at the junction of four tectonic plates, experiences 20 per cent of the strongest quakes recorded on Earth each year.