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Sunday
Jul102011

7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Northeastern Japan

NASA/Getty Images(HONSHU, Japan) -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit the northeastern coast of Japan Sunday, briefly triggering a tsunami warning for the area still recovering from the devastating quake and killer wave four months ago.

The tremor, which hit at 9:57 a.m. local time, caused more concern than problems. No major injuries or damages have been reported. The residents of coastal areas were evacuated for about two hours after the earthquake, but the tsunami warning has since been lifted.

The earthquake's epicenter was off the coast of Japan's main island, Honshu, in the Pacific Ocean.

There is no tsunami danger for the United States' West Coast or Hawaii, according to officials, and the Japanese nuclear power plant in the region was not affected.

On March 11, the northeastern coast of Japan was hit by a 9.0 earthquake -- the strongest in Japanese history -- and a tsunami that devastated the region, triggered a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant and left nearly 23,000 people dead or missing.

Since then, dozens of strong aftershocks have rattled the region, including a 5.6 quake in the Pacific off Honshu on Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The area still has a long way to go toward recovery. Because seawalls were destroyed in the March 11 disaster and many of the buildings are still structurally weak, even smaller-scale earthquakes can do damage, but for now, the Japanese are in the clear.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio