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Earthquake Rattles Northern Japan

August 10, 2004

TOKYO (AP) _ A strong earthquake shook northern Japan on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake, which struck at 2:13 a.m. EDT, had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 and was centered about 30 miles beneath the ocean floor off the coast of Iwate, the Meteorological Agency said. The area is northeast of Tokyo, Japan’s capital. A magnitude 5 quake can damage houses and buildings in densely populated areas.

The shaking lasted for about one minute, Iwate police official Shigeko Nagasaka said. There were no reports of injuries or structural damage.

There was no threat of a tsunami, potentially dangerous waves triggered by seismic activity, the agency said.

Japan rests atop several tectonic plates adn is among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.

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