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7.4 Earthquake Rocks Japan; Tsunami Warning Lifted

7.4 Earthquake Rocks Japan; Tsunami Warning Lifted

POSTED: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 8:19am

UPDATED: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 1:11pm

UPDATE: 10:43 a.m. A strong aftershock rattled Japan and officials issued a tsunami warning Thursday night nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast.

The warning was lifted 90 minutes later, but not before announcers on Japan's public broadcaster NHK told coastal residents to run to higher ground and away from the shore.

The Japan meteorological agency had issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to 6 feet after the quake. The warning was issued for a coastal area already torn apart by last month's tsunami, which is believed to have killed some 25,000 people and has sparked an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially recorded Thursday's quake at 7.4 in magnitude, but later downgraded it to 7.1.

Officials at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant said there's no immediate sign of new problems caused by the aftershock. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it evacuated two workers there and seven at a sister plant to the south that was not badly damaged.

Japan is struggling to bring the plant under control after the March 11 quake and tsunami, which killed, or left missing, about 28,000 people. Japan's neighbors have sounded increasingly alarmed over the risk of radiation from the plant, while tourists are staying away in what should be the peak season.

TOKYO, JAPAN - A magnitude 7.4 earthquake has hit off the coast of Japan, and authorities have issued a tsunami warning for the country's northeastern coast, which was already ravaged by last month's devastating quake and tsunami.

The warning is for a tsunami of as much as four feet, NBC News reported.

The quake hit 73 miles from Fukushima, where workers are still trying to contain the damage at a stricken nuclear plant, and 207 miles from Tokyo, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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