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Powerful earthquake rocks Japan

2009-08-11 13:35 BJT

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A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 has jolted eastern and central Japan.

There were no immediate reports of major damage, but nuclear reactors were halted for safety checks.

Shizuoka Prefecture got a rude awakening on Tuesday.

Takeo Kawamura, Japanese Cabinet Secretary, said, , Japanese Cabinet Secretary, said, "At 5:07 am this morning an earthquake with a 6.6 magnitude and centering on the Bay of Suruga hit the region."

Shizuoka is 150 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. Local trains and two reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant were temporarily halted for safety checks.

Takeo Kawamura, Japanese Cabinet Secretary, said, "From the Prime Minister, we were ordered to immediately assess the situation, make them public as soon as possible, and if there are any injuries or casualties, immediately begin any needed rescue."

The area has been hit by heavy rain since Monday and the weather agency has warned of possible landslides and flooding.