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Strong quake jolts southern Japan

A magnitude-6.5 earthquake hit off Japan's southern coast today, the country's Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The quake hit at 9:18 am (0018 GMT) off the coast of Miyakojima, a southern island near Okinawa, at a depth of 18.6 miles (30 kilometers). Miyakojima is located about 1,240 miles (2,000 kilometers) south of Tokyo.

The meteorological agency said there was no fear of a tsunami.

Atsushi Kawamitsu, a police official in Miyakojima, said police have received no reports of damage or casualties.

"Nothing fell off from shelves during the quake," Kawamitsu said.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, and experts believe Tokyo has a 90 percent chance of being hit by a major quake over the next 50 years.

In 1995, a magnitude-7.2 quake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people.


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