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Series of strong quakes rattles Japan

A series of strong offshore earthquakes of above 6.0 magnitude shook Japan early today but there was no danger of a destructive tsunami, seismologists said.

world Updated: Mar 10, 2011 08:56 IST

A series of strong offshore earthquakes of above 6.0 magnitude shook Japan early today but there was no danger of a destructive tsunami, seismologists said.

The tremors follow a major 7.3 quake yesterday which swayed buildings in Tokyo and triggered a small tsunami but did not cause any casualties or property damage. The latest was a 6.8-magnitude quake that hit at 6:24 am (local time yesterday), 400 kilometres northeast of Tokyo at a shallow depth of nine kilometres below the Pacific seafloor, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The tremor prompted the agency to issue a tsunami warning which was soon lifted. That came three hours after a 6.2-magnitude quake in the same region and another one measuring 6.1 yesterday's quake and the early today aftershocks were all in the same area.

There were no reports of major damage or casualties, local police said. "We do not have to worry about a tsunami now but should be on alert for more aftershocks following yesterday's earthquake," an official at the Japanese agency said. Around 20 per cent of the world's most powerful earthquakes strike Japan, which sits on the "Ring of Fire" surrounding the Pacific Ocean.

Tectonics experts have warned of a 70 percent chance that the "Big One" -- a magnitude-seven earthquake or worse --will strike the greater Tokyo region, home to around 35 million people, within the next 30 years.