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WEATHER REPORT
Tornados tear off roofs in eastern Japan
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 04, 2013


6.5 quake hits east Japan: USGS
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 04, 2013 - A strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit eastern Japan on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, but local authorities said there was no risk of a tsunami.

The quake struck at 0018 GMT at a depth of 404 kilometres (251 miles), the USGS said.

"The epicentre is in the Pacific, hundreds of kilometres (miles) south of Tokyo. We see no risk of a tsunami," a spokesman for the Japanese weather agency said.

Fukushima operator TEPCO reported there were no new problems at the stricken nuclear plant.

The quake, measured at 6.9 by Japanese seismologists, was centred on a spot more than 600 kilometres south of Tokyo, the USGS said.

AFP journalists in the Japanese capital reported feeling a long, rumbling quake that shook buildings. They said it was the largest they had felt in the quake-prone city for some time.

A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power said the earthquake did not cause any additional damage at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the site of the worst nuclear accident in a generation where radioactive waste water has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean.

"We have confirmed that there was no immediate abnormality," according to data collected by monitoring equipment, a TEPCO spokesman said, adding that crews will patrol the crippled plant's vast campus to survey whether any physical damage has been caused.

A series of leaks of radioactive water at the nuclear plant has left TEPCO on the back foot in recent months.

On Tuesday the Japanese government announced it was stepping in with 47 billion yen ($470 million) of public money to build a wall of ice underneath the plant to prevent polluted water seeping out into the sea.

Tornados hit eastern Japan on Wednesday, tearing off roofs, shattering windows and injuring at least three people, two days after twisters ripped through other parts of the region.

Television footage showed badly damaged houses in Yaita, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Tokyo, some with their roofs peeled off.

A 60-year-old man was slightly injured in Yaita, the local authority said.

Similar gusts also hit nearby Kanuma city, injuring at least two men, a local police spokesman said.

"The roof of a school gymnasium was torn off, and the power supply is cut off," a Yaita city official told AFP. "Traffic lights are not working either."

About 600 households lost power for around three hours in Yaita city, said Tokyo Electric Power, which covers the region.

Pictures posted on Twitter and other social networks showed a dark funnel of cloud stretching down to the ground, whipping up debris.

The weather agency said at least one tornado had torn through Yaita.

More than 60 buildings were partially damaged or totally destroyed in wider Tochigi prefecture, the local authority said.

The winds came after tornados wrought havoc in other parts of eastern Japan on Monday, with a large amount of damage in Koshigaya city, northwest of Tokyo.

A total of 63 people were injured and about 110 houses were damaged or destroyed in Koshigaya and surrounding areas.

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WEATHER REPORT
Tornado rips through eastern Japan, injures dozens
Koshigaya, Japan (AFP) Sept 02, 2013
A tornado ripped through parts of eastern Japan Monday, injuring several dozen people, tearing off roofs and uprooting buildings. Footage of Koshigaya city, north of Tokyo, from public broadcaster NHK showed a number of homes destroyed, upturned cars, and schools with shattered windows. A warehouse had been lifted from its foundations and hurled into other buildings. A total of 63 pe ... read more


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