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5.5 Magnitude Earthquake In Japan Felt Across Nation

A powerful undersea earthquake(News Source) south of Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo and been felt across the country.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centred 874km (543 miles) from the Japanese capital, at a depth of more than 660km.

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The earthquake struck at 18:30 local time (11:30 GMT). Buildings in the capital swayed for almost a minute as the quake built in intensity.

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There are no reports of serious damage. No tsunami alert was issued.

Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, a municipal official on Chichijima island, which is part of the Ogasawara island group, told NHK that he initially felt a mild tremor, but when he thought it was over “there was a violent shaking and I couldn’t even stand on my feet.”

At an inn on the Ogasawara island of Hahajima, furniture shook violently, although nothing fell or broke, innkeeper Michiko Orita told NHK. “It was so frightening. The entire house shook and a Buddhist altar violently swayed like I have never experienced before,” she said, adding that all her guests were safe.

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The meteorological agency did not issue a tsunami warning because the quake struck so far beneath the earth’s surface. Deep offshore earthquakes usually do not cause tsunamis, and generally cause less damage than shallow ones.

In March 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake rocked northeastern Japan, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 18,500 people and ravaged much of the northern Pacific coast. The depth of that quake was just 24 kilometers (15 miles), according to the meteorological agency.