Powerful Magnitude-6.8 Earthquake Jolts Japan's Coast

The quake was centered off the coast of Yamagata about 30 miles southwest of the city of Sakata

A tsunami warning was issued Tuesday after a magnitude-6.8 earthquake off the northwestern coast of Japan, but there were no reports of significant injuries or damage.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the quake Tuesday night registered magnitude 6.8 and was located off the western coast of Yamagata about 30 miles southwest of the city of Sakata. It said the quake's epicenter was fairly shallow, about 6 miles below the sea's surface.

Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth's surface.

Only a minor swelling of the sea was reported about 30 minutes after the shaking. Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 offshore quake hit the northeast coast, causing a tsunami that took more than 18,000 lives and triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant.

All seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata were off line and no abnormalities were reported.

Power outages were reported and bullet train service was suspended in parts of the region for safety checks. 

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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