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Magnitude 6.2 Quake Hits Western Japan, Injuring 8
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An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale shook large parts of western Japan early Monday, injuring at least eight people, the Japan Meteorological Agency and Kyodo News said.

The epicenter of the quake was about 146 kilometers below ground in central Oita prefecture on Kyushu island, about 800 km southwest of Tokyo, the agency said.

There was no tsunami warning issued as to the 5:01 AM (20:01 GMT, Sunday) quake. But eight people in four western prefectures suffered from injuries caused by the early morning quake, Kyodo News said.

Some railway lines in the Shikoku and Kyushu regions were suspended or operating at reduced speed due to the quake.

The quake measured lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Kure, Hiroshima prefecture, and in Imabari, Yawatahama, Ikata and Seiyo, Ehime prefecture, and Saiki, Oita prefecture, according to the agency.

The strong quake was followed by a mild earthquake registering a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 in northern part of Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

No tsunami warnings were issued as to the 8:04 a.m. (2304 GMT, Sunday) quake. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Its epicenter is 70 kilometers under ground in Aomori prefecture, according to the agency.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas.

In October 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Niigata region in northern Japan, killing about 40 people and injuring more than 3,000. In 1995, a magnitude 7.2 quake hit the city of Kobe, killing more than 6,400.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2006)

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