Earthquake strikes northeast Japan; no tsunami alert

Tokyo, May 18 (EFE).- A magnitude-5.9 earthquake shook the northeast coast of Japan on Saturday but no tsunami alert was sounded and as yet no victims or material damage have been reported, the Japanese Meteorological Agency said.

The temblor occurred at 2:48 p.m. Saturday with its epicenter located at some 50 kilometers (31 miles) under the sea at a point some 60 kilometers (37 miles) off the southern coast of Fukushima prefecture.

The company that owns the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused the worst nuclear accident in 25 years, has reported nothing out of the ordinary at either this or the nearby Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

Tohoku Electric Power, operator of the Onagawa plant in the same area, has not detected any irregularities either.

Though Japanese media have not reported any victims or material damage up to now, the NHK network has sounded the alarm about the possible risk of landslides in the towns affected by the tragedy of 2011.

The quake was felt in 18 of Japan's 47 prefectures, including Tokyo.

Japan is on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire" and suffers earthquakes with relative frequency, so that construction regulations are very strict and there are rigorous rules to be followed in case of emergencies. EFE