Magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes off northeastern Japan

TOKYO - There have been no immediate reports of major damage in Japan, after a strong earthquake struck off the northeastern coast.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi (mee-YAHG'-ee) prefecture. The epicenter was 6.2 miles beneath the seabed.

It's the same region that was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami last year. One city in the region (Ishinomaki) has reported that a small tsunami of about three feet hit about 45 minutes after the quake. About two hours after the quake struck, all tsunami warnings were cancelled.

Public television broadcaster NHK reports at least two people were injured, though officials have not confirmed any numbers.

Shortly before the earthquake struck, NHK television broke off regular programming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the coast to flee to higher ground.

Tokyo Electric Power says there have been no problems at any of its nuclear plants.

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