5.5-magnitude quake strikes off Japan’s northern prefecture, no tsunami warning issued

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TOKYO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 struck off the coast of Japan’s northern Aomori Prefecture on Thursday, the weather agency here said.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the temblor, which occurred at 3:21 p.m. local time, was centered off the coast of Aomori Prefecture, Japan’s northernmost part of Honshu Island, with its epicenter at a latitude of 40.5 degrees north and a longitude of 142.2 degrees east.

The quake occurred at a depth of 50 km, the weather agency said, but no tsunami warning or advisory was issued as a result of the temblor, the JMA said.

The earthquake logged lower 5 on Japan’s seismic scale which peaks at 7 in Aomori Prefecture, 4 in Iwate Prefecture and 3 in other parts of Aomori and Akita prefectures, the weather agency said.

There have been no immediate reports of major damage or injuries as a result of the quake, according to local authorities as well as local media accounts.

Japan’s nuclear watchdog has not reported any abnormalities at nuclear power plants in the vicinity that could have possibly been affected by the quake.

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