Massive Quake Shakes Pacific Islands, No Tsunami Expected

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake has hit at sea near the Kuril island chain between northern Japan and Russia, but there have been no reports of damage or casualties.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says the quake struck at 1:24 p.m. (0424 GMT) Tuesday in the waters near the Kurils, about 500 miles off the northeastern coast of Hokkaido. The earthquake occurred about 6 miles below the sea surface. It posed no danger of a tsunami.

Russia seized the island chain in the closing days of World War II. The disagreement over the four islands, called the Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, have kept the two countries from signing a formal peace treaty.

Click here for more information from The U.S. Geological Survey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.