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M5.1 earthquake hits Japan’s Hokkaido, no tsunami warning issued

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This image from the Japan Meteorological Agency’s website shows the seismic intensity of the August 11, 2022 earthquake.

TOKYO (Kyodo) – A series of powerful earthquakes hit Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Thursday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, issuing a tsunami warning.

Local police said they did not receive any immediate reports of serious damage. The Japan Meteorological Agency has asked people in affected areas to be on alert for about the next week for the possibility of a strong aftershock.

The strongest earthquake with an initial magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter scale shook the northern part of the island around 12:53 a.m., marking the highest 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Nakagawa and 4 in many areas near the city.

Initially, the agency estimated the size at 5.3, but later revised it.

The city was also hard hit by the first earthquake, which occurred around 12:35 a.m., with a magnitude of 5.2 and less than 5 on the intensity scale. The agency also raised the earthquake’s strength from the initial figure of 5.1.

The epicenter of the quakes was at a depth of about four kilometres, the agency said, adjusted from the previous estimate of 10 kilometres.

“The first tremor was short, lasting 10 seconds or so, but the second felt a little longer, about 30 seconds,” an official with the Nakagawa township office said.

“It shook up and down and also from side to side,” the official added, noting that documents fell from office shelves as a result of the earthquakes.

The area was also hit by another earthquake early Thursday morning, the agency said, including a quake measuring 4 on the intensity scale in Nakagawa.

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