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Earthquake jolts eastern Japan; no tsunami warning

Earthquake jolts eastern Japan; no tsunami warning
The earthquake hit off the coast of the Chiba region, east of Japan's capital Tokyo.
PHOTO: US Geological Survey

TOKYO - A strong earthquake shook eastern Japan on Friday evening (May 26), but there was no tsunami warning, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The temblor struck at 1003 GMT with a magnitude of 6.2, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It shook buildings in Tokyo as well as surrounding prefectures, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.

The epicentre was near Chiba prefecture, to the east of Tokyo, at a depth of 50 km (31 miles).

Footage from NHK showed buildings shaking near the Narita International Airport in Chiba. Airport authorities were checking for damage to its runways, NHK said.

East Japan Railway Co said it was suspending some train services in Chiba prefecture.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about one-fifth of the world's earthquakes of magnitude six or greater.

On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude nine earthquake, the strongest quake in Japan on record, and a massive tsunami. Those events triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

NHK said that Tokyo Electric Power Co was checking for signs of damage at its nuclear reactors in Fukushima, the site of a meltdown in the 2011 disaster.

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