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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

6.0-magnitude quake hits northern Japan

An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale has jolted northern Japan in the same region hit by a giant tsunami and temblor in 2011.


The quake shook a wide region including Fukushima and Iwate prefectures. 

There was no risk of a tsunami, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. 

The focus of the quake, which took place at 12:29 p.m. local time (0329 GMT) was in the Pacific off Miyagi prefecture. 

Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant which was crippled in the 2011 disaster, said it had received no reports of fresh abnormalities after the latest quake.

A destructive 9-magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami struck Japan’s northern coasts in March 2011, setting off a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems of reactors at the Fukushima plant, causing radioactive leaks. 

The waves from the tsunami, which hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant 45 minutes after the quake, shut down the backup generators at the facility. The early damage disabled the reactor’s cooling system, leading to meltdown, explosions and radiation leaks. 

The Fukushima Daiichi plant has leaked radiation into air, soil and the Pacific Ocean ever since it was hit by the massive earthquake and tsunami. 

On April 19, a major earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale jolted a group of islands off in northern Japan. 

Earthquakes are common in the country, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of four tectonic plates causes high seismic activity. 
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