Magnitude 7.2 earthquake felt in Japanese capital

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Japan; Earthquake

A strong earthquake has been felt in Japan’s capital.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) put the strength of the quake at magnitude 7.2 after it was reported in Tokyo at around 6.10pm (9.10am GMT).

A tsunami advisory was been issued for Japan’s north-east coast, but was later lifted.

The USGS said the quake was centred 21 miles east of Ishinomaki, off the coast of Miyagi prefecture in the country’s rugged north-east, at a depth of 37 miles.

The area was heavily damaged during the huge earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Officials said there were no immediate reports of damage.

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

The tsunami might have reached parts of the Miyagi coast already, Japan’s NHK public television said.

The strong tremor caused a temporary blackout in some areas and suspended bullet train services in the region, NHK said.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities have been detected at nuclear power plants in the region, including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered meltdowns in the 2011 quake and tsunami.

A Japan Meteorological Agency spokesperson told a news conference that Saturday’s quake is considered to be an aftershock of the 9.0 magnitude quake in 2011.

Noriko Kamaya urged people to use caution and stay away from the coastline due to possible high waves.

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 lifts briefly stopped working, but power has been restored and there were no other problems.

“Our guests seemed worried at first, but they have all returned to their rooms, and our facility seems fine,” Mr Suzuki told NHK.

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