Giant quake earthquake rocks Japan

August 9th, 2009 - 6:56 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

More than 40 people have been injured as the result of a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake off the north-east coast of Japan earlier today.

The quake struck at 11.46am (0246GMT) with the epicenter placed 20km (12.4 miles) below the ocean off Miyagi prefecture

Japan’s meteorological agency issued a tsunami alert but later lifted it after two small waves 10cm high (four inches) hit the coast about 15 minutes after the quake.

The quake shook buildings in the capital Tokyo, some 300km (186 miles) away, with the majority of casualties occurring when the roof of a swimming pool collapsed in Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture.

The quake caused bullet trains services to be suspended, three nuclear power station were shut down automatically for safety checks, flights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport were temporarily halted, and some 17,000 households were reported to have lost power supply.

Tokyo was hit by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake last month, which injured at least 18 people.

The country’s deadliest quake in recent memory occurred in the city of Kobe in 1995, with a magnitude of 7.3, that killed more than 6,400 people.

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