Strong quake hits southern Japan, no tsunami risk

People observe a moment of silence atop a seawall at Taro district in Miyako, Iwate prefecture, Japan on March 11, 2017, to mark the the six-year anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami disaster that struck Japan in 2011.
People observe a moment of silence atop a seawall at Taro district in Miyako, Iwate prefecture, Japan on March 11, 2017, to mark the the six-year anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami disaster that struck Japan in 2011.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - A strong earthquake hit southern Japan on Tuesday (May 9), although there was no tsunami warning nor immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude 6.0 quake hit at a depth of 10km in waters off the island of Miyako in the southern Okinawan chain, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Japan's Meteorological Agency warned of small changes in sea levels but no tsunami.

Miyako, with a population of about 55,000, sits some 1,840km south-west of Tokyo and about 380km east of Taipei.

Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year, though damage is often slight thanks to rigorous building codes and broad earthquake awareness.

But a massive undersea quake on March 11, 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into Japan's north-east coast.

More than 18,500 people were left dead or missing and three reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

It was Japan's worst disaster in the post World War II-era.