The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that hit northeastern Japan late Wednesday shook a region that’s still recovering from the devastation of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami and nuclear disaster.

But were the two quakes related? And if not, was this temblor a foreshock that could portend an even larger earthquake in the near future, as was the case when a 7.2 magnitude quake struck the Tohoku region two days ahead of the mega-quake on March 11, 2011?

At least three people died and scores more were injured in the Wednesday night quake, which registered a strong 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. A smaller quake registering a weak 5 occurred two minutes before the larger shock.