A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit the northern part of Japan in the Sea of Okhotsk at 1 p.m. local time Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The epicentre of the quake was off the coast of Hokkaido in the Sea of Okhotsk , the agency said, adding that no tsunami warning had been issued for the moment.
Its readings showed the quake was mildly felt on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and in the northeastern section of Honshu, Japan’s main island.
The earthquake caused a jolt in the Japanese capital Tokyo, AFP journalists said.
While still short of the 9.0 magnitude quake that caused the devastating tsunami last year in March, a 7.5 quake is still fairly significant, and would have definitely been felt by those in northern Japan.
Last year the deathly tsunami disrupted supplies of made-in-Japan vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda Fit, as well as the flow of parts for some cars assembled in the U.S.
At Nissan, the earthquake had ground auto production to a halt, left giant cracks at a key factory and killed five employees and 17 family members.
Toyota, Japan’s largest carmaker had initially expected to lose production of 2 million vehicles from the March 11 disaster – but the impact was so big that the production woes knocked Toyota from the top place in global vehicle sales to No. 4.
images from 2011 earthquake