Earthquake, Tsunami Hits Japan

Posted December 7th, 2012 at 9:30 am (UTC-5)
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A powerful undersea earthquake has shaken Japan's northeastern coast, triggering a small tsunami and causing buildings to sway as far away as Tokyo.

A one-meter high tsunami swept ashore Friday in Ishinomaki, in Miyagi prefecture, the same region that was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

No deaths have been reported from Friday's 7.3 magnitude quake that struck off the coast. Japanese authorities have since lifted tsunami warnings.

National broadcaster NHK had broken into normal programming to report on the quake and repeatedly urged coastal residents to flee to higher ground. Thousands of people fled to safety.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant that was crippled during the 2011 quake-tsunami, reported no problems at any of its plants.

Last year's 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed or left missing around 20,000 people and caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Number One nuclear plant in the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the Soviet Union.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Friday's quake struck 36 kilometers under the Pacific, 245 kilometers southeast of Kamaishi, Japan.