Magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits off Japan; tsunami alert issued for ravaged northeastern coast

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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Workers use a crane to hoist a fishing boat back in water today at a port in an area devastated by the March 11 tsunami in Wataricho, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan. Another earthquake has hit off Japan with tsunami warnings issued today. — Photo by The Associated Press

TOKYO — Japan was rattled by a strong aftershock and tsunami warning Thursday 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 one meter. The warning was issued for a coastal area already torn apart by last month’s tsunami.

Officials say Thursday’s quake was a 7.4-magnitude and hit 25 miles (40 kilometres) under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The quake that preceded last month’s tsunami was a 9.0-magnitude.

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

U.S. Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 7.4 and it struck off the eastern coast 60 miles (100 kilometres) from Sendai and 90 miles (140 kilometres) from Fukushima. It was about 215 miles (345 kilometres) from Tokyo.

The depth was 25 miles (40 kilometres). Shallower quakes tend to be more destructive.

Hundreds of aftershocks have shaken the northeast region devastated by the March 11 earthquake, but few have been stronger than 7.0.

Organizations: Japan meteorological agency

Geographic location: Japan, TOKYO, Miyagi Sendai Fukushima

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