MORE AFTERSHOCKS EXPECTED
A Japan Meteorological Agency official told a news conference that aftershocks were likely to continue for some time.The government had set up an emergency response centre, the Tokyo Fire Department sent a relief team and Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso asked for help from a military disaster relief unit."Three television sets fell off shelves, elevators have stopped, and we've turned off the boiler."Another Kurihara city official said that a Japanese-style inn had been hit by a landslide, blocking the first floor, and that guests had moved to the second floor.A JR East spokesman said it could take nine hours to complete safety checks and resume bullet train services.A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc, Japan's biggest utility, said two of the company's nuclear power plants in Fukushima prefecture, just south of Miyagi prefecture, were running as usual and there were no disruptions from the quake.An official at Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc said its nuclear plants at Onagawa and Higashidori were running as usual.
Top Japanese refiner Nippon Oil Corp's 145,000 barrel-per-day Sendai refinery appeared not to have been damaged after the quake, a company official said. The refinery is currently shut for scheduled maintenance.Sony Corp and Fujitsu Ltd said they had stopped production at semiconductor factories in the region but had not found any damage so far.In October 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Niigata region in northern Japan, killing 65 people and injuring more than 3,000.That was the deadliest quake since a magnitude 7.3 tremor hit the city of Kobe in 1995, killing more than 6,400.
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