5.0-magnitude quake strikes Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture

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An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 struck Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture, in the central part of Japan's southwestern Kyushu island, on Thursday, the weather agency said.

There has been no immediate reports of major damage or injuries as a result of the inland quake, and no tsunami warning has been issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

According to the JMA, the temblor, which occurred at 6:10 p.m. local time, was centered inland, with its epicenter at a latitude of 33.0 degrees north and a longitude of 130.6 degrees east.

The quake originated at a depth of 10 km, the JMA also said.

The powerful earthquake logged lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale which peaks at 7 in some areas of Kumamoto Prefecture, the JMA said.

In nearby areas of Fukuoka, the quake registered 4 on Japan's seismic scale and 3 in the surrounding prefectures of Saga, Nagasaki, Oita and Miyazaki.

A Shinkansen bullet train in the region was forced to make an emergency stop, however, according to local accounts.

Japan's nuclear watchdog has not, as yet, issued any warning about irregularities or abnormalities at the Sendai or Genkai nuclear power plants located in Kyushu.

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