EArthquake japan fukashima February 2020
© USGS
Japan was rattled by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake off the country's east coast on February 12, 2020
Japan was rattled by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake off the country's east coast today

The US Geological Survey said today's earthquake had struck at a depth of around 50 miles under the sea.

One witness told earthquake monitoring service EMSC that the quake produced a 'weak but long shake' lasting about 10 seconds.

Another said their heater had moved around on its four wheels while making a sound. Officials in Fukushima prefecture warned residents that there could be aftershocks and directed them to official public safety advice.

Energy company TEPCO, which runs four nuclear power plants in the prefecture, said it was awaiting further information about the earthquake's impact.

In 2011, Fukushima was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl when a 9.1-magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami.

The wave flooded the nuclear power plant and caused a massive meltdown, spewing out radiation that forced 160,000 people to flee their homes.

Japan is located on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries.