Tsunami advisory issued after earthquake strikes off Japan’s coast

TOKYO — An earthquake struck off Japan’s northeast coast Saturday, shaking buildings even in Tokyo and triggering a tsunami advisory for a part of the northern 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 the Miyagi Prefecture, which was heavily damaged during the huge earthquake and tsunami of 2011, that killed thousands and made global headlines.

No major damage has been reported, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, and there have been no reports of severe injuries.

The earthquake was initially recorded as having a magnitude of 7.2 , which was downgraded later on Saturday to 6.9 by the Japan Meteorological Agency, which also re-adjusted its calculations of the depth of the epicenter to 59 km from 60 km.

An initial advisory for a tsunami up to 1 meter in height for Miyagi prefecture immediately after the quake, was also lifted by Japan’s Meteorological Agency later on Saturday.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center rescinded a similar tsunami advisory notice that had been issued. “Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed,” it said in a statement.

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

The strong temblor caused a temporary blackout in some areas and suspended bullet train services in the area, according to the East Japan Railway Co.

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

Last month, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast near the Fukushima prefecture, which was the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters almost a decade ago.

Fukushima was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 — the strongest in Japan’s history. A tsunami soon followed, leaving more than 15,000 people dead and 2,500 others still missing.

In a sign of rebirth, the area had been due to host parts of the Summer Olympics set to take place in Japan in 2020. However, the games were delayed 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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