An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 6.9 struck Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Saturday, according to Japan Meteorological Agency. There were no reports of damage and no tsunami was expected.
There were also no problems reported at Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Higashidori nuclear plant in northern Japan.
The earthquake’s epicenter was 109 kilometers from Kushiro and 844 kilometers North-Northeast of Tokyo.
On a regular basis, an earthquake of this magnitude could cause important damage, especially when it is followed by aftershocks. But in case of a single event, the damage depends on the quake’s depth and type, proximity to populated areas, and building standards in the region, the international press reports.
The quake in Hokkaido started down in Earth’s crust, 103.1 kilometers below the surface, along what is known as the Kuril-Kamchatka arc in the Pacific Rim. The region is known to be one of the most volatile ones on Earth, scientists say.
A quake’s magnitude refers to the quantity of energy released at the source and is influenced by local and regional geology. Scientists usually know the cause of an earthquake, but cannot actually predict specific quakes.