An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck Japan’s northwest coast around Niigata prefecture on Tuesday, with shaking strong enough to damage buildings and prompting a 0.2-1.0 metre tsunami warning, reports Reuters.
There were no immediate reports of damage, although areas hardest hit by the quake could not be contacted by telephone, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant was not affected by the quake, which hit 85 km ( 53 miles) northeast off the coast, with all of its seven reactors already shutdown, NHK said.
The quake struck at 10.22 p.m. local time (1322 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 10 kilometres. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude of the quake at 6.5.
Buildings can be seen shaking in footage captured locally.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga warned people in affected areas to remain alert as atrong aftershocks could follow.
He told Japanese TV that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed government officials to do all they can to provide evacuation information and for rescue and relief efforts.