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Earthquake, Tsunami Hit Japan

Common Dreams staff

(image: USGS)

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake and small tsunami struck Japan today, nearly one year after the deadly tsunami hit the region.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the 6.9 quake was off the east coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 26.6 kilometers.

Agence France-Presse reports:

[The earthquake] was followed by a 20 centimetre (eight inch) tsunami which had prompted local authorities to issue an evacuation warning for coastal residents before it hit land.

The waves hit several locations in Hokkaido as well as Aomori prefecture, which was one of the areas in Japan's northeast devastated by last year's disaster. [...]

A spokesman for Tohoku Electric Power, which operates two nuclear power plants in the country's northeast, said the facilities were unaffected.

"We have not monitored any change in radiation levels around the facilities following the quake," he told AFP.

The Associated Press adds that the first quake was followed by a "magnitude-6.1 quake [that] shook buildings in the capital."

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On Sunday, Japan marked the first-year anniversary of the Fukushima tsunami disaster with a day of mourning and anti-nuclear nuclear protests.

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