Major quake shakes northern Japan, tsunami warning

TOKYO, September 11, 2008 (AFP) – A 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook northern Japan on Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, which warned of mild tsunami seismic waves.

The undersea earthquake occurred at 9:21 am (0021 GMT) about 20 kilometres deep (12.4 miles) off Hokkaido island’s Tokachi region, some 700 kilometres north of Tokyo, the agency said.

The agency warned that tsunami waves as high as 50 centimetres (20 inches) could hit the eastern coast of Hokkaido as well as Pacific shores of the main island of Honshu.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Japan is hit by 20 percent of the world’s powerful earthquakes.