Friday, June 13, 2008

7.0 Earthquake Shakes Northern Japan; 2 Dead

TOKYO-A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked northern Japan early Saturday, swaying buildings and forcing authorities to close highways and stop high-speed trains.Japan's government says two people have died, including one person who ran out of a building in panic and was hit by a truck. Eight others have been injured.Less than an hour after the quake struck at 8:43 a.m., the Meterorological Agency issued a warning for northern Japan, saying another quake could hit the region.Authorities said two nuclear power plants in the area of the 7.0 quake were not damaged and continued to operate normally, national broadcaster NHK reported. There was no danger of tsunami.The quake was centered in the northern prefecture of Iwate about 280 miles north of Tokyo, the agency said. Footage from the closest large city, Sendai, showed the force of the quake shook surveillance cameras for 30 seconds. NHK interviewed an official from Miyagi prefecture, where Sendai is located, who said he saw tiles coming off the roofs of some homes."It was scary. It was difficult to stand up," said Sachiko Sugihara, a convenience store worker in the town of Oshushi interviewed by NHK. "The TV fell over and the refrigerator shook."

As in the days of Noah...

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