5.4-magnitude earthquake hits western Japan; no threat of tsunami

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the epicentre of the quake was in Wakayama prefecture.

Japan earthquake: At least 11 killed as new 7.3 magnitude tremor hits Kumamoto region
Romon gate (bottom R), designated as a nationally important cultural property, and other buildings damaged by an earthquake are seen at Aso Shrine in Aso, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan. Reuters

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit western Japan on Saturday, but no tsunami warning was issued. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the epicentre of the quake was in Wakayama prefecture, western Japan. The earthquake occurred at 11.48 am (0248 GMT).

Authorities said there were no immediate reports of any damage or injury. Japan is situated at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences relatively violent quakes every year. The country sits on one of the world's most seismically active zones.

Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude-6 or greater. But, rigid building codes and their strict enforcement mean even strong tremors often do little damage.

In April, two strong earthquakes hit the Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan which was followed by more than 1,700 aftershocks. At least 50 people were killed due to the quake that caused widespread damage.