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Strong quake in Japan leaves 23 people injured

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSMen look at fallen gravestones at a stone shop following an earthquake in Awaji, Hyogo prefecture, western Japan, Saturday, April 13, 2013.  Japan's Meteorological Agency said a magnitude-6 quake has struck near the southwestern city of Kobe, but public broadcaster NHK reports there is no major damage and no tsunami alert has been issued. The quake hit early Saturday and was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, the agency and NHK said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Men look at fallen gravestones at a stone shop following an earthquake in Awaji, Hyogo prefecture, western Japan, Saturday, April 13, 2013. Japan's Meteorological Agency said a magnitude-6 quake has struck near the southwestern city of Kobe, but public broadcaster NHK reports there is no major damage and no tsunami alert has been issued. The quake hit early Saturday and was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, the agency and NHK said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE

TOKYO >> A strong earthquake shook Japan Saturday near the southwestern city of Kobe, leaving 23 people injured, seven of them seriously — mostly elderly tripping while trying to flee, police said. No one was killed.

The magnitude-6.3 quake left some homes with rooftop tiles broken and cracked walls, while goods fell off store shelves, according to the Meteorological Agency and Japanese TV news footage.

The earthquake was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, at a depth of 9 miles.

The quake was in the area where a magnitude-7.2 temblor killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.

TV news footage showed that some areas of the island had liquefied, a common effect of strong earthquakes.

The agency warned there may be aftershocks for about a week.

Japan is among the most quake-prone nations in the world. In March 2011, northeastern Japan was struck with a giant earthquake and tsunami, killing nearly 19,000 people and setting off a nuclear disaster.

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