Tsunami advisory issued after earthquake strikes off Japan's coast

TOKYO – An earthquake hit Japan’s northeast coast on Saturday, shook buildings even in Tokyo and triggered a tsunami indicator for part of the north coast.

The Meteorological Agency of Japan said in a statement that the quake struck at 6:09 p.m. Local time (6:09 a.m. ET) near Miyagi Prefecture, which was badly damaged during the great 2011 earthquake and tsunami, killing thousands and making global headlines.

No major damage was reported and no serious injuries were reported, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

The earthquake originally had a magnitude of 7.2 and was later downgraded to 6.9 by the Japan Meteorological Agency on Saturday, which also readjusted its epicenter depth calculations from 60 km to 59 km.

A first indication of a tsunami up to 1 meter high for Miyagi Prefecture immediately after the quake was also canceled later on Saturday by the Japanese weather authority.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center overturned a similar tsunami notice that had been issued. “Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake is now over,” it says in one Explanation.

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Japan’s nuclear regulator said in a post on its website that no abnormalities had been detected in three nearby nuclear reactors, including both the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants.

The severe tremors caused a temporary power outage in some areas and suspended high-speed rail traffic in the area, according to East Japan Railway Co.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and the country is responsible for about 20 percent of magnitude 6 or greater earthquakes worldwide.

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast near Fukushima prefecture last month, causing one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters nearly a decade ago.

Fukushima was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 – the strongest in Japanese history. A tsunami soon followed, in which more than 15,000 people died and 2,500 more were missing.

As a sign of rebirth, the area was to host parts of the Summer Olympics that were to take place in Japan in 2020. However, the games have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo and Adela Suliman from London.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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