August 11, 2009 in Nation/World

Quakes hit Tokyo and Indian Ocean

Mari Yamaguchi Associated Press
 

TOKYO – A powerful earthquake hit Tokyo and nearby areas shortly after dawn today, halting trains and forcing two nuclear reactors to shut down for safety checks. More than 30 people suffered minor injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said another, unrelated quake with a 7.6 magnitude hit the Indian Ocean about 160 miles north of Port Blair in India’s Andaman Islands. A tsunami watch was called for India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh. The caution was later lifted.

In Japan’s magnitude-6.5 temblor, at least seven people were slightly hurt, the National Police Agency said. Public broadcaster NHK reported 43 were injured.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency – which downgraded the quake from 6.6 – also issued a tsunami warning, but that was later lifted. The quake was centered off Suruga Bay, southwest of Tokyo, at a depth of 12 miles.

A small increase of waves of up to 23 inches was observed along the coastline of Yaizu city, the agency said.

More than 30 people were hurt but none seriously, said officials in the two hardest-hit prefectures, Shizuoka and Aichi.

Two reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant were temporarily halted for safety checks. No damage was reported. The temblor prompted Central Japan Railway Co. to stop operations of Shinkansen bullet trains briefly.

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