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6.9-magnitude earthquake hits near Japan’s Bonin Islands

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The epicenter of the earthquake (Credit: Google)

A strong but deep earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has struck the Pacific Ocean near Japan’s Bonin Islands, with light shaking felt as far away as Tokyo, according to seismologists. No tsunami warnings were issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 5:35 p.m. local time on Saturday, was centered in the ocean about 270 kilometers (168 miles) northwest of Ogasawara, the main settlement in the island group.

The Bonin Islands, which are also known as the Ogasawara Islands, are located far from Japan’s mainland, about 978 kilometers (608 miles) south of Tokyo.

Saturday’s earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 but struck 540 kilometers (335 miles) below the seabed, making it a very deep earthquake, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Light shaking was felt in Ogasawara and other parts of the Bonin Islands, and minor vibrations were felt as far away as Tokyo, according to JMA. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude lower, at 6.5.

“Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement to member states. “No action is required.”

Japan is on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to large earthquakes.

In March 2011, a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northeastern Japan, causing large tsunamis and killing more than 20,000 people.

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