A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of southeast Japan on Tuesday, causing moderately strong shaking in affected areas according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The tremor reportedly took place 39 km (24 miles) deep and centered 116km southeast of the city of Kagoshima. There have so far been no reports of damage or casualties, while no tsunami warning was issued.
Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Japan. An estimated 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or higher occur in the country. Japan is part of the notorious “Ring of Fire” which compromises many of the world’s most active volcanoes and 90 percent of the world’s total earthquakes.
Last June, at least three people were killed and dozens more were injured after an earthquake struck the city of Osaka in Western Japan. The deaths included a nine-year-old girl and an elderly man who were both killed by collapsing structures, while another man died after being trapped under a bookcase.
In 2016, the Japanese island of Kyushu was hit by a series of earthquakes that caused significant destruction across the region by smashing homes, warping roads, and even damaging a historic castle. Nine people died and around 800 were injured, while the area was evacuated for several days as authorities dealt with the aftermath.
However, the most devastating quake in recent history occurred in 2011, when a 9.0 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 18,000 people, while also leading to the worst nuclear disaster in over a quarter of a century at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Since then, Japan has bolstered its already strict rules on building’s earthquake resistance, making it possibly the most prepared country in the world for the effects of natural disasters.