USGS: 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes West of Japan’s Main Island

April 11, 2019 Updated: April 11, 2019

A moderate, 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit off the main Japanese island of Honshu on April 11, said the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Preliminary reports said it was a 6.0 magnitude earthquake, but it was later revised.

According to the seismic agency, the tremor occurred about 100 miles east of the city of Hachinohe, located in northern Japan.

Preliminary reports said it was a 6.0 magnitude earthquake, but it was later revised. (USGS)

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake, which hit at about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers), Reuters reported.

Several people reported feeling the tremors, according to the Daily Mail.

Honshu is the main Japanese island and is where Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Kyoto are located.

Hours later, a 4.7 magnitude earthquake hit near the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa.

In September 2018, Japan was hit by an earthquake in Hokkaido, which killed dozens of people. The quake caused buildings to collapse and triggered landslides.

In November, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit miles from the stricken Fukushima power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The power plant was damaged during the massive March 2011 earthquake.

Fukushima Update

In September 2018, the Japanese government acknowledged for the first time that a worker at the Fukushima nuclear power plant died from radiation exposure.

The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry ruled that compensation should be paid to the family of the man in his 50s who died from lung cancer, an official told Reuters.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, seen on Feb. 22, 2016. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)

The worker had spent his career working at nuclear plants around Japan and worked at the Fukushima Daiichi plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) at least twice after the March 2011 meltdowns at the station. He was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016, the official said.

In 2017, TEPCO suggested that it might dump 770,000 cubic meters of water contaminated with the radioactive tritium into the Pacific, arguing that the dumping of tritium-contaminated water is done by other plants around the world.

“After dilution, tritium is released into the ocean, not only from the nuclear power plants but also from the reprocessing plants in the world already,” said nuclear engineer Tadahiro Katsuta of Meiji University, to the Epoch Times via email.

pacific ring of fire earthquake volcano
The Pacific “Ring of Fire.” (Public Domain)

Ring of Fire

Japan lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and is earthquake-prone. The Ring of Fire, which encircles the entire Pacific Ocean basin, accounts for the vast majority of the world’s earthquakes and active volcanoes.

“The Ring of Fire isn’t quite a circular ring. It is shaped more like a 25,000-mile horseshoe. A string of 452 volcanoes stretches from the southern tip of South America, up along the coast of North America, across the Bering Strait, down through Japan, and into New Zealand. Several active and dormant volcanoes in Antarctica, however, ‘close’ the ring,” according to National Geographic.

The Ring of Fire, home to more than 450 active and dormant volcanoes. (U.S. Geological Survey)
The Ring of Fire, home to more than 450 active and dormant volcanoes. (U.S. Geological Survey)

In September 1923, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake in Japan killed 142,000 people and devastated Tokyo and other cities. “The initial jolt was followed a few minutes later by a 40-foot-high tsunami. A series of towering waves swept away thousands of people,” says Smithsonian Magazine.