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M5.6 quake jolts Miyagi Pref., no tsunami warning issued via The Mainichi

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 jolted Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan early Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, issuing no tsunami warning.

There were no immediate reports of major injuries, local officials said. No abnormalities have been confirmed at three nuclear power plants in the region — Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, and Fukushima Daiichi and Daini in Fukushima Prefecture, south of Miyagi, their operators said.

The 4:05 a.m. quake originated in the Pacific off the coast of Miyagi at a depth of about 60 kilometers and measured upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in the northern and central parts of the prefecture, the agency said.

Two men suffered minor injuries in Sendai and Natori cities in Miyagi Prefecture after being hit by objects falling from shelves, according to firefighters.

East Japan Railway Co. suspended operations early Thursday on some sections on the Tohoku Main, Senseki and Ishinomaki lines for safety checks. But they have now returned to normal.

Meanwhile, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2 hit Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Saitama prefectures at 4:17 a.m., measuring 3 on the Japanese scale.

The focus of the later quake was in the southern part of Ibaraki Prefecture at a depth of about 50 km, according to the agency.

The two quakes are apparently aftershocks of the devastating quake that hit the northeastern region in March 2011, the agency said.

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