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Large quake hits off Japan; no Pacific-wide tsunami expected

By Star-Advertiser staff

and Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:10 a.m. HST, Mar 9, 2011

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan, but did not trigger a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami, officials said yesterday.

The quake struck at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday (4:45 p.m. yesterday Hawaii time) about 104 miles east of Sendai in Honshu, Japan, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered at a depth of 8.8 miles.

USGS page for Honshu magnitude 7.2 quake


"Based on all available data, a destructive pacific-wide tsunami is  not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii," according to a statement from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach. "However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers (62 miles) of the earthquake epicenter," warning center officials said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami alert for Japan's northeastern coast, warning that a tsunami of about 20 inches would hit the coast around noon Wednesday, but that time passed without any reports of a wave reaching the shore.

There was a 6.3 magnitude aftershock shortly after the main quake.

There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but officials are still assessing the situation. Buildings were shaken in Tokyo about 256 miles southwest of the epicenter.

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