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Powerful 7.3 quake jolts Japan

Last updated on: December 7, 2012 16:19 IST

Powerful 7.3 quake jolts Japan

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A strong earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck northeastern Japan on Friday.

The earthquake occurred at 5:18 pm Japan time (1:50 pm IST), off the coast of northeastern Japan. The same area was hit by a magnitude-9 quake and tsunami on March 11 last year.

A tsunami warning that had been issued has been lifted.

However, people there have been urged to flee to higher ground immediately as a precaution.

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Tags: Japan , Richter , IST

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Tsunami advisories are also in place for Pacific coastal areas of Iwate, Fukushima, Aomori and Ibaraki prefectures.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the US Geological Survey said. That was revised from an earlier estimate of 7.4.

The quake shook buildings as far away as Tokyo and Shinkansen bullet trains have been suspended between Tokyo and Odawara.

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Image: A television grab of a tsunami assessment on a new channel
Photographs: Courtesy Imgur

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Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power said there were no reports of further damage at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says there is no risk of a Pacific-wide tsunami from the quake.

Residents of at least one town, Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture, were advised to evacuate to higher ground, reports said, suggesting other towns were also affected.

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Image: Firefighters persuade residents to evacuate after a strong earthquake hit the area in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 7
Photographs: Reuters/Kyodo

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Telephone operator NTT said its network was jammed with the weight of callers.

A presenter on state broadcaster NHK repeatedly told viewers to get to safety.

"Flee now. Remember last year's quake and tsunami," he said. "Call on your neighbours and flee to higher ground now!"

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Image: Local residents in a restaurant react after a strong earthquake hit the area in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo
Photographs: Reuters/Kyodo
Tags: NTT , NHK , PHOTOS , Japan

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People watch a television showing live camera footage from Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture and an alert sign that reads,"Tsunami! Evacuate!" at Nagano train station, central Japan December 7

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Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Passersby watch a television showing live camera footage from Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture and an alert sign that reads,"Tsunami! Evacuate!" on a street in Tokyo

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Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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Passengers gather after train services were suspended following an earthquake at Sendai station in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo

Click on MORE to see how Japan had just about recovered from the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami


Photographs: Kyodo/Reuters

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