23 Jun 2011

Japan rattled by 6.7 quake

5:16 pm on 23 June 2011

No damage has been reported from a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck off Japan's devastated east coast, and a tsunami alert has been cancelled.

The earthquake's epicentre was about 50km off the coast of the northern Iwate prefecture, at a shallow depth of 20km, the ABC reports. It struck at 6.51am local time.

Japan's Meteorological Agency immediately issued a tsunami warning, saying a possible 0.5 metre-high wave could be moving towards the coast.

Residents living in evacuation shelters were put on alert and people were moved to higher ground, but no waves were seen and the alert was later lifted.

Most of Japan's north-east coast is in ruins after a massive earthquake and tsunami left 23,000 people dead and missing in March.

The disasters also crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, triggering the world's worst atomic accident since Chernobyl in 1986 and forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to leave their homes.