At least 14 people have been injured by a strong earthquake that struck off Japan’s northeast coast Tuesday.
The magnitude-7.4, which was felt in Tokyo, was considered an aftershock of the devastating and deadly quake and tsunami of 2011.
All Japan’s nuclear power plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami have been shut down in the wake of the March 2011 disaster.
The earthquake rattled nerves among coastal residents who fled to higher ground early Tuesday.
Authorities report only minor injuries and damage — and no abnormalities at the nuclear plant. However, more aftershocks could hit within days.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency the earthquake was centred off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 kilometres.
A wave of up to 1.4 meters high was recorded at Sendai, about 70 km north of Fukushima. Tsunami warnings issued by Japanese officials in the wake of the earthquake have now been lifted.
WATCH: Raw footage shows the moment a 7.3 earthquake hit Japan, off the coast of Fukushima, Tuesday morning.
Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest. Even when in shutdown, nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
It was five years ago, in March 2011, that a magnitude 9 earthquake rocked the country, killing 18,000 people and destroying a nuclear plant.
The earthquake was the strongest ever recorded in Japan and the resulting tsunami knocked out the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.
(photo courtesy twitter user @kogkog590)