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Archive for Sunday, March 25, 2007

Strong earthquake strikes Japan

March 25, 2007

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— A strong earthquake struck Japan early Sunday, killing at least one person, violently shaking buildings and triggering two very small tsunamis that hit the coast, officials and media reports said.

The quake hit shortly before 10 a.m. off the north coast of Ishikawa prefecture (state), Japan's Meteorological Agency said. It had a preliminary magnitude of 7.1. A small tsunami of 6 inches hit shore around 10:18 a.m., public broadcaster NHK said. A second tsunami of similar size hit minutes later down the coast.

Television footage from the quake zone showed buildings shaking violently for about 30 seconds.

NHK reported one woman died and 40 were injured.

Immediately after the quake struck, authorities issued a tsunami warning for the northwestern Sea of Japan coast and broadcasters urged people near the sea to seek higher ground. The Meteorological Agency said seismically triggered waves of up to 25 inches were possible. The tsunami warning was later lifted.

Calls to police and local officials in the region were not immediately answered.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the earthquake was 225 miles northwest of Tokyo. The USGS gave a preliminary magnitude of 7.3.

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