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Strong earthquake hits Japan, triggers small tsunami

Wednesday, June 19th 2019, 6:00 am - Cleanup continues after an earthquake struck Japan's northwest coast around Niigata prefecture on Tuesday.

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake striking Japan's northeastern region late Tuesday left 26 people injured with thousands being forced to take shelter at evacuation centers, officials said Wednesday.

The quake struck at 22:22 local time at a depth of 14 kilometers. Its epicenter was located off Yamagata Prefecture and the quake caused a tsunami warning which was lifted hours later, the Japan Meteorological Agency said (JMA).

On Wednesday morning, China Central Television (CCTV) reporters arrived at quake-stricken Murakami City in Niigata Prefecture and found no severely damaged building in the downtown.

The only quake-triggered debris CCTV spotted in the city was from cob walls of a gym about 40 kilometers from the downtown.

"We have not received any other report about collapsed building and residents have returned home from evacuation centers. They clear up their stuff and feel assured," said Toshiyuki Itagaki, a staff member of Murakami's disaster response department.

In Tsuruoka City of Yamagata, CCTV found another post-quake scene — a parking lot whose ground liquefied and trapped a car.

"It seems that ground here is likely to liquefy. I hope the government can investigate and solve the problem in order to let the people feel safe about working and living here," said Saitou, owner of a car rental shop.

The authorities said all 9,200 affected families in the quake-stricken area have regained power supply. The weather agency said the quake might cause landslides and warned that houses could possibly collapse.

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