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Monday, November 14, 2005

Asian Beauty:Miwako.K | Strong earthquake shakes northern Japan, tsunami warning issued

A strong earthquake shook northern Japan early Tuesday prompting tsunami warnings from Japan's Meteorological Agency.
The temblor -- with a preliminary magnitude 7.2 -- hit at 6:39 a.m. (2139 GMT) and was centered off the east coast of Japan's main island of Honshu, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan's Meteorological Agency measured the magnitude at 6.9, it said. There was no immediate word on the discrepancy.
A tsunami originally forecast to be 50 centimeters high hit the city of Ofunato on the coast of Iwate prefecture, with 30 centimeter waves at 7:26 a.m. (2226 GMT), the agency said.
Tsunami waves are often barely noticeable in the ocean but can rise to great heights once they arrive at shore.
The government ordered about 400 households along Iwate's coast to evacuate, public broadcaster NHK reported, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
The agency said further tsunamis as high as 50 centimeters could reach coastlines on Japan's Pacific Coast between 7:10 a.m.(2210GMT) and 7:30 a.m. (2230 GMT) in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Hokkaido.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries because it sits atop four tectonic plates. A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook northeastern Japan in August, injuring at least 59 people, triggering landslides, damaging buildings and causing widespread power outages.

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