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Strong quake hits Japan’s northeast coast; no Pacific-wide tsunami generated

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A liquor shop’s manager clears the damaged bottles following an earthquake late Saturday night in Fukushima, northeastern Japan.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A liquor shop’s manager clears the damaged bottles following an earthquake late Saturday night in Fukushima, northeastern Japan.

A strong earthquake hit off the coast of northeastern Japan late Saturday night (just after 4 a.m. Hawaii time), shaking Fukushima, Miyagi and other areas, officials said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Oahu said that there was no Pacific-wide tsunami generated and no threat to Hawaii.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said there were no irregularities at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which experienced meltdowns following a massive 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami 10 years ago.

There were no immediate reports of irregularities from other nuclear plants in the area, such as Onagawa or Fukushima Dai-ni, government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato told reporters.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 7.3, raising it from a preliminary magnitude of 7.1.

The U.S. Geological Survey listed the magnitude at 7.1 and said it was centered about 44 miles east-northeast of Fukushima at a depth of 31 miles beneath the ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said that about 860,000 homes were without power as a result of the quake, but electricity was gradually being restored, according to Kato.

Kato said there was no danger of a tsunami from the quake. He said that some trains in northeastern Japan had stopped running, and that other damage was still being checked.

Video from public broadcaster NHK TV showed some pieces of a building wall had broken off and fallen to the ground, and pieces of glass were scattered at a store.

Items fell off shelves because of the shaking, NHK said. NHK aerial footage showed a portion of a highway blocked by a landslide in Soma, a city in Fukushima prefecture.

The extent of damage from the landslide was not immediately clear, Kato said.

He said there were several reports of minor injuries from the quake, such as a man getting hit by a falling object.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga headed into his office immediately after reports of the quake, and a crisis center was set up there.

The shaking was felt in Tokyo, to the southwest.

The same northeastern area was slammed by a quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March 2011.

Experts warned of aftershocks over the next several days, including possibly larger quakes.

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