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Moderate 5.6 quake hits Japan's north

A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan in the early hours of Sunday , the US Geological Survey said, predicting low chances of any major damage being caused.

TOKYO: A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan in the early hours of Sunday , the US Geological Survey said, predicting low chances of any major damage being caused.

The epicentre was located in mountains along the north astern side of Honshu, Japan's largest island, at a depth of 90 kilometres (56 miles). Cities close to the epicentre include Hanamaki, Kitakami and Morioka.

The Japan Meteorological Agency put the quake's strength at a slightly lower figure of 5.5 magnitude, adding that there was no risk of a tsunami.

Japan is situated at the meeting place of several of the Earth's tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year.

But thanks to strict building codes, even powerful quakes that might wreak havoc in other countries frequently pass without causing much damage.

Last month a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook buildings in the Japanese capital Tokyo, injuring 17 people.

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