5.7 Quake Rattles Southwestern Japan

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 shook southwestern Japan on Monday, but there were no reports of significant damage or injuries, officials said.

The quake, which struck at 1:36 p.m., was centered about 22 miles beneath the ocean floor off the town of Tsurumi in Oita prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said.

Oita prefectural government official Fukuyuki Ando said one window pane at a city hall was broken by the tremor. A small portion of a tile also fell from a tunnel wall on to a road, but no injuries or other damage were reported.

Oita is located on the southernmost main island of Kyushu.

There was no danger of tsunami, powerful waves caused by seismic activity, the agency said.

It was the second time in as many days that a strong temblor had rattled Japan. A 6.1-magnitude tremor jolted the northern prefecture of Miyagi on Sunday, injuring a 66-year-old woman who fell down a flight of stairs.

A magnitude 5 quake can cause damage when centered under populated areas.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, sitting atop four tectonic plates, slabs that move across the earth's surface.