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5.0 magnitude earthquake hits Japan

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Couple of days into the New Year and an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 has struck Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture in the central part of Southwestern Kyushu Island.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries as a result of the inland quake and no tsunami warning issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). According to the JMA, the temblor, which occurred at 6.10 p.m. local time has its epicenter at a latitude of 33.0 degrees north and a longitude of 130.6 degrees east.

The quake originated at a depth of 10 km, the JMA also said, adding that the powerful earthquake logged lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale and peaked at 7 in some areas of Kumamoto Prefecture.

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In nearby areas of Fukuoka, the quake registered 4 on Japan’s seismic scale and 3 in the surrounding prefectures of Saga, Nagasaki, Oita and Miyazaki. A Shinkansen bullet train in the region was forced to make an emergency stop.

Japan’s nuclear watchdog did not issue any warning about irregularities or abnormalities at the Sendai or Genkai nuclear power plants located in Kyushu.

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