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Moderate quakes hit near Japan's Fukushima

Published on Jun 16, 2014 6:16 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - Two moderate earthquakes struck off Japan’s eastern coast near Fukushima early Monday, the US Geological Survey said, but officials said there was no immediate risk to the stricken power plant.

The epicentre of the first quake, with a magnitude measuring 5.7, was located some 91km off the coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest and most populated island, at a depth of 22km shortly after 3am local time.

A second, 5.6-magnitude quake struck two hours later slightly closer to shore at a depth of 39km. Cities nearest to the epicentre included Iwaki, Kitaibaraki, Namie and Hitachi, USGS said.

The same coastline was struck by a devastating quake and subsequent tsunami in 2011 that killed more than 18,000 people and sparked a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant – the world’s worst nuclear accident in a generation.

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