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Strong earthquake hits off southern Japan coast

A STRONG earthquake shook several small islands off Japan's southern coast today, rattling buildings over 100 miles (160 kilometers) away in Taiwan and causing officials to temporarily issue a tsunami warning.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the earthquake hit at 3:10 pm (0610 GMT; 2:10 am EDT) and registered magnitude 6.6. The US Geological Survey measured it at 6.4.

Japanese officials immediately issued a warning for a tsunami about 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) high, but removed the warning about an hour later.

The quake was also felt in Taiwan, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) to the east, where residents in Taipei could feel buildings shake.

The quake hit 69 miles (110 kilometers) off the southern coast of Miyakojima island, in southern Japan, at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), the Meteorological Agency said.

The small island is about 1,120 miles (1,800 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. In 1995, a magnitude-7.2 quake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people.


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