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Strong earthquake measuring 7.8 jolts Japan; tremors felt in Delhi, NCR

A magnitude 8.5 earthquake shook parts of Japan on Saturday evening, though there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Strong earthquake measuring 7.8 jolts Japan; tremors felt in Delhi, NCR

New Delhi/Tokyo: A magnitude 8.5 earthquake, which was later revised to 7.8 on the Richter scale, shook parts of Japan on Saturday evening, though there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The epicentre of the earthquake was observed in Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, 676 kilometres (422 miles) below the Earth`s surface. It was centred on a remote spot in the Pacific Ocean around 870 kilometres south of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. The Ogasawara islands are about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Tokyo.

Meanwhile, public broadcaster NHK added that there was no danger of Tsunami.

Shortly after the quake, the US Geological Survey posted a revised magnitude and reported it as - 7.8 magnitude earthquake approximately 874 kilometres (543 miles) from Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, which said the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.5, was at a depth of 696 kilometres.

The earthquake shook buildings in Tokyo, setting off car alarms as it rattled the Japanese capital. However, there were no abnormalities at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant following the quake. The runways at Tokyo`s Narita airport were operating normally but the high-speed bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka was halted due to a power outage, an AFP correspondent in the city reported. 

According to NHK, Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, who runs a traditional guest house on Chichijima, one of the closest inhabited places to the epicentre, said the shaking had been violent.

"Initially a weaker quake hit and it stopped. Then the big one came. It was so strong that I couldn`t stand still and couldn`t walk," he added.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Disney Resort tweeted a picture of people gathered outside.

Earlier, a massive undersea earthquake that hit in March 2011, had sent a Tsunami barrelling into Japan`s northeast coast. 

As well as killing thousands of people and destroying communities, the waves also swamped the cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant, sending three reactors into meltdown.

The nuclear disaster, the world`s worst since Chernobyl, displaced tens of thousands of people and rendered tracts of land uninhabitable, possibly for decades.

According to reports, today`s rattle was the second sizable shake Tokyo has had this week, after a much less powerful -- but far shallower -- quake hit close to the capital on Monday.

Japan sits at the meeting place of four tectonic plates and experiences around 20 percent of the world`s most powerful earthquakes every year.

Yesterday, a volcano in the far south of Japan had erupted, spewing a huge column of ash high into the sky and forcing authorities to evacuate the island on which it sits.

The eruption caused no injuries and no damage was reported, but it served as yet another reminder of the volatile geology of the country.

Meanwhile, in India, light tremors were felt in Delhi-NCR region at around 5:30 pm today, triggering panic as people living in high-rises rushed out of the buildings. No immediate loss of life and property were immediately reported from anywhere in the city.

On May 12, a 7.3-magnitude quake epicentred in Nepal had sent strong tremors through several eastern and northern parts of India causing loss of lives.

The quake had followed the killer April 25, calamity in Nepal that had claimed several thousands of lives in the Himalayan nation, besides having casualties in India.

(With Agency inputs)