5.9-magnitude earthquake strikes off Japan's Hokkaido: USGS

The moderate quake hit at a depth of eight kilometres, 107 kilometres north-east of Shibetsu.
The moderate quake hit at a depth of eight kilometres, 107 kilometres north-east of Shibetsu.PHOTO: USGS

TOKYO (AFP) - A shallow 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Monday (Nov 5), the US Geological Survey said.

The moderate quake hit at a depth of eight kilometres, 107 kilometres north-east of Shibetsu.

The USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

It comes after a powerful 6.6-magnitude quake in September rocked Hokkaido, triggering landslides, collapsing houses and killing more than 40.

Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year.

But rigid building codes and strict enforcement mean even strong tremors often do little damage.