A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the Japanese coast Saturday, geologists said, shaking buildings in Tokyo and setting off car alarms, an AFP correspondent reported.
Despite the huge power of the quake, there was no risk of a tsunami, The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported.
Residential buildings swayed for around a minute as the quake built in intensity at around 8.30pm (1130 GMT).
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The epicentre was 676 kilometres (422 miles) below the Earth’s surface. It was centred on a remote spot in the Pacific Ocean around 870 kilometres south of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said.
Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, who runs a traditional guest house on Chichijima, one of the closest inhabited places to the epicentre, told NHK the shaking had been violent.
“Initially a weaker quake hit and it stopped. Then the big one came. It was so strong that I couldn’t stand still and couldn’t walk,” he said.
Both runways at Narita Airport, the main international gateway to Tokyo, were temporarily closed while inspections were carried out. Trains in Tokyo were also temporarily halted and a football match in the city was briefly suspended.
There were no reported abnormalities at any of the region’s mothballed nuclear power plants.
The Shinkansen high speed train line had briefly stopped between Tokyo and Osaka due a power outage and some trains in Tokyo stopped as well for safety checks, causing crowds of commuters in some of the city’s liveliest areas to mill around outside stations.
Read more: gmanetwork.com