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Magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits off Japan's northeast coast

Published on Jul 21, 2014 3:48 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's northeast coast early Monday morning, the US Geological Survey said.

The agency said the quake struck at 2:32am (1732 GMT Sunday) in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 60 kilometres north east of Japan's Hokkaido island, close to the disputed Russian administered Kuril Islands. There were no immediate reports of damage.

The epicentre lay closest to Russian territory, 94 kilometres from the town of Kuril'isk. The nearest Japanese city, Nemuro was located 291 kilometres away from the epicentre.

The Kuril islands are at the heart of a long running territorial dispute between Japan and Russia. They were seized by Soviet troops in the final days of World War II.

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