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Quakes rattle western Japan

Sunday, September 5, 2004


TOKYO (AP) -- Two strong earthquakes, one magnitude 6.9 and the second magnitude 7.3, rattled western Japan within hours of each other Sunday night, injuring 14 people, shaking buildings in Tokyo and triggering tsunami waves.
Damage and injuries appeared to be limited because both quakes were far off Japan's coast, and the region shaken most strongly by them was a sparsely populated rural area, Wakayama, 280 miles west of Tokyo.
But tall buildings in Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya shook, while buildings swayed in Tokyo.
Five people hurt
The first quake, with a 6.9-magnitude quake, struck shortly after 7 p.m., centered 70 miles off the Kii peninsula and 6 miles beneath the ocean floor. Kyodo News reported that five were hurt in the first temblor.
The second temblor struck about five hours later, centered about 80 miles off the coast of Kochi prefecture (state) also 6 miles below the seabed. Public broadcaster NHK reported nine people were injured.
Tsunami -- waves triggered by seismic activity -- were recorded along the Pacific Coast, the largest being 3 feet high.
The Meteorological Agency issued fresh tsunami warnings after the second quake, prompting several coastal towns in Mie prefecture (state) to order residents to evacuate, public broadcaster NHK reported.
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