POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 09, 2011
A magnitude-7.3 earthquake hit off Japan's northeastern coast today, shaking buildings hundreds of miles away in Tokyo and triggering a small tsunami. There were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries.
The quake struck at 11:45 a.m. local time and was centered about 90 miles off the northeastern coast — about 270 miles northeast of Tokyo — at a depth of around 5 miles, Japan's meteorological agency said. Buildings in Tokyo swayed for about 30 seconds.
A 24-inch tsunami reached the coastal town of Ofunato, in Iwate prefecture, with other towns reporting smaller waves about 30 minutes after the quake.
"We are still trying to determine the impact of the quake," said an emergency and disaster response official in Iwate.
Some train lines in the area were temporarily stopped after the quake, but they were restarted shortly after noon. Tohoku Electric Power said there was no damage at its nuclear power facility in the region.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.
There was a 6.3-magnitude aftershock shortly after the main quake, the meteorological agency said.
Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones around the Pacific Rim where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur.