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7.0 magnitude quake rocks Japan

A tsunami advisory was issued for the Pacific coasts of northern Japan, which was later lifted, after a strong quake hit the region heavily damaged by the March earthquake and tsunami, the Japan Meteorological Agency said today.

world Updated: Jul 10, 2011 09:04 IST

Japan lifted a tsunami advisory on Sunday after only small waves arrived at the northern Pacific coast a few hours after a strong quake hit the region damaged by the March earthquake and tsunami.

The Japan Meteorological Agency lifted the advisory at 11:45 am (0245 GMT) for Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures following a major earthquake which struck off the main island of Honshu at 9:57 am.

The agency upgraded the quake to 7.3 magnitude, from an initial 7.1, while the US Geological Survey revised it down to 7.0.

"Changes in sea level may occur. Please use caution when conducting activities such as swimming and surf fishing," the agency said in a statement.

The USGS said the quake hit at a depth of 34.9 kilometres (21.7 miles) some 212 kilometres east of the regional commercial hub of Sendai, Miyagi.

No damage has been reported from the tsunami and quake.

The port town of Soma, Miyagi prefecture saw a 10-centimetre (four-inch) tsunami at 11:11 am, the Japanese agency said.

The port of Ofunato, Iwate prefecture, which saw a moderate tidal change earlier, also observed a 10-centimetre tsunami, it said.

The US Geological Agency, which also estimated the magnitude at 7.1, said the offshore quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in the same general area as the 9.0-magnitude quake of March 11 which triggered a massive tsunami. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had not received reports of any fresh problems at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after the latest earthquake.

"We are still checking details, but cooling of reactors is continuing," a TEPCO spokeswoman said. A small tsunami of up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) was expected along the affected region, the meteorological agency said. Communities along the Pacific coast issued warnings and advisories for local residents to seek higher ground but no damage had been reported shortly after the quake. Television footage of the affected coasts did not show any visible signs of a tsunami or major changes in the waters.

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