The magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
The temblor triggered a large landslide in the town of Atsuma, covering homes trapping residents inside, according to public broadcaster NHK.
“There are risks of landslides and homes collapsing. Please don’t go near anywhere deemed dangerous,” said an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The quake triggered a blackout across a wide swath of Hokkaido leaving about 3 million households without power, NHK reported. It also affected telephone service and television broadcasting in Sapporo.
The city of Abashiri asked residents to conserve water while the power was out.
Japanese bullet train operations in Hokkaido were suspended due to the blackout, according to NHK.
The earthquake also caused buildings to collapse, according to Agence France-Presse, though it was unclear how severe the damage was.
Both Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said that no abnormalities were detected at the Higashidori or Tomari nuclear power plants.
Thanks to Vance for these links