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Quake Hits Northern Japan


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
TOKYO (Reuters) - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 jolted northern Japan on Tuesday, and media reports said some people had been injured.

Buildings also swayed in Tokyo, about 300 km (190 miles) to the south, when the tremor struck at 11:46 a.m. (0246 GMT) (3:46 a.m. British time).

A tsunami warning was issued for the coast of Miyagi prefecture and some buildings had been damaged, TV reports said.

The region is a mostly agricultural area with several large cities and some high-tech factories.

An official in Sendai, a city with a population of about one million, said some people were injured at an indoor swimming pool after parts fell from the roof.

Early reports said the injured could total as many as 80 but NHK said one person had been seriously hurt and 13 others were slightly injured.

Trains were halted, although there were no reports of derailments, and some soon resumed service.

Tokyo's major airports resumed operations after runways were briefly closed for checks.

There was also a report of a landslide but it was not clear if people had been injured.

About 17,000 households were without electricity, Tohoku Electric said.

"Things were falling off the shelf, but otherwise it seems business as usual for the most part," said Takeshi Saito, a flight instructor in Sendai.

The focus of the tremor was 20 km below the sea off the coast of Miyagi, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Tohoku Electric said all three nuclear power generators at its Onagawa plant stopped automatically after the quake and Nippon Oil said it suspended operations at its refinery in the district.

Sony Corp., which has a production facility in Sendai for recording media and batteries, said there was no impact from the earthquake on its facilities and no staff were injured.

Fuji Photo Film Co said production at its digital camera factory in Miyagi had been temporarily halted for checks, but it reported no damage to equipment.

The magnitude of the earthquake was measured according to a technique similar to the Richter scale, but adjusted for Japan's geological characteristics.

The U.S. Geological Survey rated the tremor as magnitude 7.2, qualifying it as a major earthquake.