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Magnitude 5.7 earthquake hits Japan

19 November 2013, 07:01

Tokyo - A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit eastern Japan on Tuesday morning, seismologists reported.

The quake struck at around 04:10 local time (19:10 GMT) off the eastern Honshu coastline, 25km from the city of Toba and 37km from the city of Ise, according to the US Geological Survey which monitors earthquakes worldwide.

The tremor struck far down at a depth of 332km, USGS added. There were no initial reports of damage.

Japan lies on the so-called "Ring of Fire", a series of seismic fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean which create frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

More than 18 000 people died in March 2011 when a 9.0-magnitude sub-sea earthquake sent a towering tsunami barreling into Japan's northeast coast in the country's worst post-World War II disaster.

Cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant were knocked out, sending reactors into meltdown and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.

A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit eastern Japan last week, rocking buildings in Tokyo. That tremor struck at a much shallower depth of 59km.



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