TOKYO: A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Japan yesterday, setting buildings in the capital swaying but causing no risk of a tsunami, seismologists said.
National broadcaster NHK said no abnormalities were detected at nuclear power plants near the epicentre, which was north of Tokyo, where buildings rocked for upwards of half a minute.
The US Geological Survey said the quake had hit at 4.23am (0723 GMT), with its epicentre 57km (36 miles) north-northeast of Maebashi and around 143km north-northwest of Tokyo.
The agency said it had struck at a depth of nine kilometres.
The Japan Meteorological Agency, which had earlier put the magnitude at 6.2, said minor aftershocks were continuing.
Japan is regularly hit by powerful earthquakes and has largely adapted its infrastructure to tremors that can cause widespread damage in other, less developed countries.
It also sparked the world’s worst atomic accident in a generation when waves knocked out the cooling systems at Fukushima nuclear plant.