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Quake Rocks Eastern Japan

6.9 Earthquake rattles the city but no injuries reported

The Japan Meteorological Agency is reporting a 6.7 magnitude jolted a wide swath of eastern Japan (including Tokyo) early on Thursday morning. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

Japan QuakeJapan QuakeThe quake hit at 1:45 am and began about 100 miles (160km) east of Tokyo, 25 miles (40km) below sea level in the Pacific Ocean.

"There have been no reports of damage so far. There was radical shaking from side to side," Yoshihisa Wakui, an official in Motegi, around 80 km (50 miles) north of Tokyo, told NHK.

No tsunami damage is expected but there may be slight changes in sea level over the next few hours.

According to Reuters: "The tremor was one of three of magnitude 6 or greater to hit the same area in less than 45 minutes but NHK said there was no damage to nuclear facilities in Ibaraki and neighboring Fukushima prefectures north of Tokyo, among areas where the quake was felt most strongly, and train services were not affected."

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Japan straddles the crux of 4 tectonic plates has been bracing for the "Big One."

According to AFP: "A 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Tokyo could kill 4,700 people, damage 440,000 buildings and leave thousands of others trapped in elevators, according to a study published by the government in 2006."

Tokyo's last major quake was the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. More than 150,000 people were killed or unaccounted for.

We can only hope this isn't a precursor for the quake everyone's waiting for.

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