JAPANESE scientists have announced there is a 70 per cent probability of Tokyo experiencing a magnitude-7 earthquake in the next four years, a significant elevation of the threat to a city that is home to 8.9 million people.

The results of a study by a research team at the University of Tokyo was announced on Monday and coincided with a magnitude 5.1 tremor rocking large parts of north-east Japan, which was devastated on March 11 by the magnitude-9 Great East Japan Earthquake. There were no reports of deaths or injuries from the 8:45 p.m. quake, but train lines were briefly shut down. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said the off-shore quake caused no further damage to the facility.  The sharp increase in seismic activity in Tokyo in the 10 months since the March 11 quake and tsunami, which together claimed around 20,000 lives, was taken by the scientists as an indicator that the long-awaited “Big One” is imminent.  The Japanese capital has historically been subjected to major earthquakes in cycles of approximately 60 years. The last major disaster struck in 1923, when The Great Kanto Earthquake caused the deaths of more than 105,000 people and flattened large parts of Tokyo, Yokohama and the surrounding Kanto region.                –Telegraph