An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 rocked the northwest coast of the Japanese island of Honshu today, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake, recorded at 4:19 a.m. local time, was 147 kilometers (91 miles) deep, the agency said. Its epicenter was 372 kilometers north of Tokyo, and about 81 kilometers south of Akita.

Japan lies in a zone where the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippine plates meet and is one of the world's most earthquake- prone countries. Earthquakes of magnitude 5 or more can cause considerable damage, depending on their depth.