A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit eastern Japan on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake, at a depth of 44 kilometres, struck shortly after 6:42 am local time near the northeast coast of the main Honshu island, some 350 kilometres from Tokyo.
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No tsunami warning was issued. Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year, but rigid building codes and their strict enforcement mean even strong tremors often do little damage.
A massive undersea quake however that hit in March 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into Japan’s northeast coast, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing, and sending three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
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In April, two strong earthquakes hit southern Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture followed by more than 1,700 aftershocks, leaving at least 50 dead and causing widespread damage.