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7.3-magnitude quake rocks Japan

By Ken Moritsugu
Associated Press
Image description
In this Feb. 21, 2012 photo provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co., debris covers the No. 3 nuclear reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, about one year after the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and the following explosions at the reactor. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
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TOKYO (AP) — An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday morning off Japan’s east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan’s emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.


Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami warning for a long stretch of Japan’s northeastern coast. It put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.


There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters.


The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Saturday Tokyo time (1710 GMT) about 290 kilometers (170 miles) off Fukushima. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, ordered workers near the coast to move to higher ground. Japanese news service Kyodo said there were no signs of trouble at the plant.


The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) away.


All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo. About 19,000 people were killed.


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