A powerful 7.1 magnitude aftershock has rocked a large portion of eastern Japan, less than four weeks after the 9.0 quake-tsunami that left thousands of people on Japan's coast dead and caused a disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Japan's NHK television immediately broke into programming late Thursday night with news of the earthquake, which struck at at 11:32 in the evening, and to warn Japan's meteorological service had issued a tsunami warning.
The announcer warned people near the coast to move immediately to higher ground. NHK also told people to stay away from buildings that were damaged by the 9.0 earthquake on March 11. The tsunami warning was later rescinded.
The quake's epicenter was centered under the Pacific Ocean off Japan's eastern coast in the same general area as last month's earthquake. The tsunami triggered by that quake killed more than 12,000 and left some 14,000 missing to date.
Shortly after Thursday's aftershock a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power, who runs the Fukushima nuclear power plant, said there were no new immediate problems found at the site, where engineers are still working to contain damage done by the meltdown there.
In Sendai city, the capital of Miyagi prefecture, lights went off during the earthquake due to power failures. The quake was felt far down the coast, and Tokyo experienced strong shaking that lasted for at least a minute and disrupted train and bus service.
Map Source: Wikimedia Commons