A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 jolted northeastern Japan Saturday morning, killing at least two people and injuring dozens.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the epicenter of the 08:43 a.m. (2343 GMT) quake was about 10 km underground in southern Iwate Prefecture.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura confirmed the deaths of two in the quake at a press conference.
Local press said dozens of people in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures were injured.
TV footages showed that the quake engendered several landslides and the collapse of a bridge.
Train services on most sections of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line have been suspended and all expressways in Miyagi Prefecture have been closed, Kyodo News said.
Meanwhile, National broadcaster NHK quoted authorities as saying that two nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture were not affected.
The quake, which engendered no tsunami warning, could be felt in almost all areas of the northeastern part of the Honshu Island, including Tokyo, and some part of Hokkaido Prefecture.
(Xinhua News Agency June 14, 2008)