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Strong earthquake hits southern Japan - Media
Updated: 2005-03-20 10:53

A powerful earthquake hit Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu on Sunday, and tsunami warnings have been issued, public broadcaster NHK said.

Japan's Meteorological Agency warned that tsunamis could hit areas including the coast of Kyushu, NHK said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The tremor was of magnitude 7, measured according to a technique similar to the Richter scale, but adjusted for Japan's geological characteristics.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

In October 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Niigata region in northern Japan, killing more than 40 people and injuring more than 3,000.

That was the deadliest quake since a magnitude 7.3 tremor hit the city of Kobe in 1995, killing more than 6,400.

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