News World Asia Japan heaves a sigh of relief after major earthquake produces little damage and no tsunami
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Japan heaves a sigh of relief after major earthquake produces little damage and no tsunami

Iwate's prefecture was spared the tsunami damage that left its coastal towns in ruins in 2011. Photo: AP
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A strong earthquake has struck off northern Japan, shaking buildings even in Tokyo and triggering a tsunami advisory for a part of the northern coast.

No major damage was reported, but several people had minor injuries.
The US Geological Survey put the strength of the quake at magnitude 7.0 and the depth at 54 kilometres.

The quake was centred off the coast of Miyagi prefecture, in the country’s rugged northeast, which was heavily damaged during the huge earthquake and tsunami of 2011 that left more than 18,000 people dead.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued an advisory for a tsunami up to a metre it for Miyagi prefecture immediately after the quake, but lifted it about 90 minutes later.

Officials there said there were no immediate reports of damage.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said seven people were injured in Miyagi prefecture.

Those hurt include two elderly women, one who was banged on the head by a door and the other who was struck on the shoulder by toppled furniture.

In neighbouring Iwate prefecture, a woman in her 50s fell and cut her mouth.

The strong shake caused a temporary blackout in some areas and suspended bullet train services in the area, according to the East Japan Railway Co.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities have been detected at nuclear power plants in the region.

Akira Wakimoto, a crisis management official in Tome town in Miyagi prefecture, said he was in his apartment when the quake struck, and felt his room shake for a long time.

In a coastal city of Ofunato, Shotaro Suzuki, a hotel employee, said there was a temporary blackout and elevators stopped briefly, but power has been restored and there were no other problems.

AAP