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Strong quake jolts northeastern Japan, no major damage reported

Posted by Junichi Kawagoe on 15.2010 News Out of English Newspaper   0 comments   0 trackback
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck northeastern Japan on Sunday afternoon but there were no reports of injuries or major damage.

The government set up a liaison office to gather information about the quake two minutes after the temblor occurred, while a bullet train service was temporarily suspended in the quake-hit region.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. said operations were normal at their nuclear power plants in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

The focus of the 5:08 p.m. quake, upgraded from a preliminary magnitude of 6.6, was located off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture at a depth of about 40 kilometers, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The quake occurred a day after another temblor with an estimated magnitude of 5.7 shook the same region.

Sunday's quake registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in part of Fukushima Prefecture and 4 in other parts of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Tochigi prefectures.

The temblor also measured 3 on the same scale in extensive areas of eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

No tsunami damage as a result of the quake is expected though slight changes in sea level may occur, the agency said.

According to the Fukushima prefectural government, broken windowpanes at a prefectural cultural center and a fallen ceiling panel at the prefectural government office were found in the wake of the quake.

Japan is one of the world's most seismically active countries. In 1995, a magnitude 7.3 quake hit the western port city of Kobe and surrounding areas, claiming 6,434 lives.

(Mainichi Japan) March 14, 2010

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