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Tokyo hit by earthquake, typhoon
( 2003-09-21 15:02) (Agencies)

As Typhoon Choi-wan moves across Japan's southern Islands, an earthquake centered hundreds of kilometers off the coast jolted residents in the capital city.

Tokyo is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes. [AP Photo]

Japan's Meteorological Agency put the quake's magnitude at 5.5, but the U.S. Geological Survey's World Data Center for Seismology reported its magnitude as 4.7.

It was centered nearly 870 kilometers (540 miles) south-southeast of Tokyo, near Japan's Bonin Islands, a remote volcanic island group in the Pacific Ocean.

Seven women attending a memorial service at a Tokyo Buddhist temple sustained minor injuries when one of the temple's walls collapsed on top of them, officials said.

There were no tidal warnings, and the quake -- which struck around 1 p.m. Saturday -- did not disrupt road or railway travel. The shaking lasted about 30 seconds.

Around the same time, Typhoon Choi-wan passed over Okinawa, with wind speeds up to 126 kilometers per hour (78 mph), and is expected to skirt Japan's eastern coast over the weekend.

The storm is expected to reach Tokyo by Monday, drenching the areas with heavy rains, Japan's Meteorological Agency told Kyodo News Agency.

Choi-wan is Cantonese for colorful clouds.

The last typhoon to whirl through the region, Maemi, left at least 96 people dead in South Korea after killing one and injuring more than 90 in southern Japan last month.

Japan is hit by more than a dozen typhoons in a typical year.

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

Tokyo is particularly vulnerable. A quake and subsequent fire in 1923 killed more than 140,000 people in the capital area, and experts believe Tokyo is overdue for another major jolt.

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