TREMORS

Large Quake Hits Off Japan Coast

Jiji Press, AFP / Getty Images

People watch the coastline from a hill following a tsunami warning in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture on July 10, 2011.

Japan had a big scare on Sunday when a major earthquake hit off the country's northeastern coast, prompting tsunami warnings and momentary panic in northern Japan, which was devastated by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March. But the 7.1 magnitude quake turned out to be harmless: the Japan Meteorological Agency reported baby tsunamis measuring between 10 and 20 centimeters off the coast, but there were no immediate reports of damage. Still, officials took precautions and evacuated a town near the site of the powerful quake, and tremors were felt as far away as Tokyo. "It's just a continuing of the aftershocks of that devastating 9.0," said a geophysicist in reference to March's disaster. "These kinds of aftershocks are likely to occur for some time," he added.