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Earthquake Today: Large Quakes Hit Japan, Causing Small Tsunami

A series of powerful earthquakes have hit Tokyo and northeast Japan Wednesday evening, sparking fear throughout the region that still has last year's horrific tsunami fresh in their minds.

No significant damage or deaths were immediately reported following the first tremor that struck the southern coast of Hokkaido island with a magnitude of 6.8. Evacuations were immediately ordered in the coastal regions as a small tsunami was identified, according to The Associated Press.

Water at the port of Hachinohe in Aomori rose by 20 centimeters (eight inches), following the quake. All tsunami warnings were lifted about 90 minutes after the first quake.

However, three hours following the first tremor, a magnitude 6.1 quake hit Tokyo, with an epicenter recorded near the coast of Chiba, east of Tokyo, at 9 miles (15km) below the sea surface.

The quakes have hit just days after Japan marked the first anniversary of the huge magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that left about 19,000 people dead or missing. That tsunami sparked the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Wednesday's quakes resulted in no abnormalities being reported at any of Japan's nuclear power plants. According to officials nearly all of Japan's plants are currently offline for safety inspections.


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