Powerful 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan, No Tsunami Warning

Powerful 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan, No Tsunami Warning

A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck off the southern coast of Japan, near Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, on Saturday night at 8:24 p.m local time, shaking buildings in Tokyo and interrupting subway service, but causing no major damage or injuries. 

The U.S. Geological Survey, which initially reported the quake as a magnitude 8.5, said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centered 620 miles (1,000km) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, at a depth of more than 400 miles (660km) below the surface.

No tsunami warnings were issued.

Naoki Hirata, an earthquake expert at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Centre, told NHK that while it was a “very big quake” and “shaking was felt over a broad areas,” there was little danger of a tsunami because the earthquake was extremely deep.

While there were no deaths or major building damage reported so far, Tokyo’s fire department has received calls about people suffering non-life-threatening injuries as a result of falls, BBC reported.

Just north of Tokyo in Saitama, a woman in her 70s sustained a minor head injury when a ceramic plate fell from a cupboard, local police said, according to Yahoo News.

In Kawasaki, just south of Tokyo, a 56-year-old office worker fell down when the quake caught him by surprise and suffered a rib injury.

Reuters reports that services on the Shinkansen high speed train line between Tokyo and Osaka were briefly halted due to a power outage.

Some trains in Tokyo also stopped for safety checks, causing crowds of commuters to form around some of the city’s busier stations.

Crowds of commuters formed around some of the city's busier stations after large earthquake hits Japan

Crowds of commuters formed around some of the city’s busier stations as trains stopped. (Image source: BBC)

Japan is one of the world’s most seismically active nations.

Aftershocks are expected to be felt. One aftershock with a 6.4 magnitude occurred has already hit near Hachijo-jima, Izu Islands, Japan early Sunday morning at 3:50 a.m. local time.

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