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Small Tsunami Waves Hit Japan's Miyagi Prefecture After Strong Earthquake
A strong earthquake struck Friday off the coast of northeastern Japan, triggering small tsunami waves in the same region hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami last year.
The Japan Meteorological Agency says the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The epicenter was 6.2 miles beneath the seabed.
There were no immediate reports of major damage but two people were reportedly injured.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported two aftershocks of of 5.5 and 4.7 magnitudes east of Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi, where a tsunami of 1 meter (1 yard) hit about 40 minutes after the quake struck.
Small tsunami waves were also recorded at the Port of Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture and Kesennuma City in Miyagi, according to Japan's NHK TV.
After the quake, which caused buildings in Tokyo to sway for at least several minutes, authorities issued a warning that a tsunami potentially as high as 2 meters (2.19 yards) could hit.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no risk of a widespread tsunami. About two hours after the quake struck, the tsunami warning was cancelled.
Shortly before the earthquake struck, NHK television broke off regular programming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the coast to flee to higher ground.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killed or left missing some 19,000 people, devastating much of the coast.
All but two of Japan's nuclear plants were shut down for checks after the earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Immediately following Friday's quake, there were no problems at any of the nuclear plants operated by Fukushima Dai-Ichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., said a TEPCO spokesman, Takeo Iwamoto.
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