7.2 magnitude quake hits Japan

March 8, 2011 7:36:07 PM PST
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit northern Japan on Wednesday, shaking buildings in Tokyo and prompting the country's meteorological agency to issue a tsunami alert for the northeastern coast. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but officials were still assessing the situation.

The meteorological agency said the quake hit at 11:45 a.m. local time and was centered about 200 miles (300 kilometers) north of Tokyo at a depth of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

It warned that a tsunami of about 20 inches (50 centimeters) would hit the coast around noon Wednesday, but that time passed without any reports of a wave reaching shore.

There was a 6.3 magnitude aftershock shortly after the main quake, the agency said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered off the coast of Japan, 258 miles (416 kilometes) from Tokyo and at a depth of 8.8 miles (14.1 kilometers). The two agencies often have slightly different numbers.

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