External Affairs

Magnitude 7.8 Quake Strikes Off Japan

A screengrab of realtime USGS data showing the earthquakes that have struck off Japan today. The red circle in the middle represents the most recent quake. Credit: USGS

A screengrab of realtime USGS data showing the earthquakes that have struck off Japan today. The red circle in the middle represents the most recent quake. Credit: USGS

This is a breaking news report, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in the Philippine Sea at 11.30 GMT, around 17.00 IST. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake’s epicenter was located 874 km from Tokyo – amidst the Ogasawara chain of islands – and 677.7 km underground. Initial reports indicated buildings in the capital were swaying for minutes after. No deaths or serious damages have been reported yet nor have any tsunami warnings been issued. Earlier in the day, a smaller quake measuring 3.8 had struck near Sakai, on the island of Honshu, followed by a 4.7 quake that struck 135 km southeast of Itoman.

According to the Japanese national daily Asahi Shimbun,

Tokyo Electric Power Co said there were no abnormalities at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant following the quake. The runways at Tokyo’s Narita airport were operating normally but the high-speed bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka was halted due to a power outage, the broadcaster said.

(The difference in magnitudes reported by the USGS and the Asahi Shimbun are due to differences in measurement techniques and locations. More here.)