Another Powerful Earthquake Rattles Japan

A Japanese meteorologist points to the area where Friday’s earthquake was centered, off the east coast of northern Japan

A strong earthquake shook Japan on Friday.

But unlike last year’s devastating March 11th quake, there were no reports of deaths or major damage in the hours after it.

And there was no deadly tsunami, either.

Friday’s quake measured 7.3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It was centered under the Pacific Ocean, off the eastern coast of northern Japan – in the same area where the March 11th earthquake was centered.

Tsunami warnings were issued almost immediately.

But according to published reports, the largest wave created by Friday’s earthquake stood only three feet high – not like the massive walls of water that stood several stories high last year.

The March 11th quake killed nearly 20,000 people.

But according to the Japanese TV network NHK, only ten injuries were reported as of Saturday morning (Japan time) — none of them serious.

Still, in areas that have yet to rebuild since the March 11th quake, Friday’s tremor shook a lot of nerves as well.

“I immediately jumped into the car and started running away toward the mountains,” said Chikako Iwai, in an interview with Reuters news service.

Iwai lives in Ishinomaki – one of the cities where the rubble from houses destroyed by the March 11th quake still has not been cleared.

“It shook for such a long time,” said Aiko Hibiya, a volunteer recovery worker in the same area, in an interview with the Associated Press (AP).

Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries because of its location.

As Reuters reported, it sits where four of the huge plates that make up the Earth’s surface come together – the Eurasian plate, the North American plate, the Philippines plate and the Pacific plate.

When any one of those plates shifts or cracks or bends, Japan feels it.

Japan’s meteorological agency told NHK that Friday’s quake was probably an aftershock of the March 11th quake.

(Aftershocks are relatively smaller earthquakes that follow a very large one.)

We usually hear about aftershocks right after a major quake.

But “it’s very normal to have aftershocks more than a year later,” said Jessica Turner, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, according to the International Business Times.

Whether there will be more aftershocks to come remains to be seen.