Map of Japan: iStock
Map of Japan: iStock

A shallow 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido early on Monday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The moderate quake hit at a depth of eight kilometers around 100 kilometers northeast of Shibetsu.

The USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

The quake comes after a powerful 6.6-magnitude quake in September rocked Hokkaido, causing landslides, destroying houses and killing more than 40 people.

Japan is situated at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes annually.

However, rigid building codes and strict enforcement mean even strong tremors often do little damage.