M 5.5 earthquake shakes Japan
No tsunami warning was issued and no immediate damage reports were available.
The quake epicenter was just 11 kilometers from the prefecture’s capital Asahi and 90 kilometers from Tokyo, USGS reported. It hit at an estimated depth of 36 km.
The same part of the country was devastated in 2011 by the powerful quake and tsunami, which killed thousands of people and triggered one of the world’s worst ever nuclear incidents.
The Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was crippled by the 2011 disaster, is located about 250km north of the epicenter of Sunday’s quake.
The facility continues to leak radioactive water, as the operator Tepco pumps the reactors to cool down melted nuclear fuel. Some experts warn that a new quake hitting the plant may damage it enough to cause a massive release of radiation into the environment.
Quakes are common in Japan, because the island nation is located in a seismically active area.