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Earthquake Strikes Central Japan

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake recently struck in a mountainous area of central Japan near Nagano city and the Hakuba ski resort, flattening homes and injuring more than 20 people. 21 people were trapped underneath collapsed houses. Shinkansen bullet trains were suspended and landslides blocked major roads.

Since the quake occurred inland, there was no risk of a tsunami, and Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities were reported at the three nuclear power plants in the affected areas.

All of Japan’s nuclear plants are offline following a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami in 2011 that sent three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant into meltdown. Fukushima is about 240 kilometres northeast of where this latest major earthquake occurred.

The earthquake was felt across much of northern Japan and in Tokyo, around 200 kilometres southeast of Hakuba. It was followed by 21 aftershocks. Yohei Hasegawa of the Meteorological Agency’s earthquake and tsunami division warned of further aftershocks and urged residents to watch out for landslides.

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