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Tsunami alert as 7.4 earthquake hits Japan

Tsunami alert as 7.4 earthquake hits Japan

JAPAN was rattled by a strong aftershock and tsunami warning last night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.

The Japan meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to two metres. The warning was issued for a coastal area already torn apart by last month’s tsunami, which is believed to have killed about 25,000 people and has sparked an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.

Officials say yesterday’s aftershock was magnitude 7.4 and hit 40 kilometres under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The quake that preceded last month’s tsunami was magnitude 9.0.

Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute.

In Ichinoseki, inland from Japan’s eastern coast, buildings shook violently, knocking items from shelves and toppling furniture, but there was no heavy damage to the buildings themselves. Immediately after the quake, all power was cut. The city went dark, but cars drove around normally and people assembled in the streets despite the late hour.

The alert was later retracted.

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