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Japan quake prompts tsunami alert

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U.S. Geological Survey
Japan
Earthquake

(CNN) -- A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck early Tuesday off the east coast of the Japanese main island of Honshu, U.S. and Japanese agencies reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered in the Pacific Ocean about 330 miles (530 kilometers) east-northeast of Tokyo, about 11 miles (18 kilometers) deep.

It struck at 7:38 a.m. Tuesday (9:48 p.m. Monday GMT), producing mild shaking in the Japanese capital.

The state television network NHK had no immediate report of injuries. And Waverly Person, a spokesman for the USGS, said scientists expected little damage from the quake.

"It's a major earthquake, but it's quite a ways away from population," Person said.

A tsunami warning was issued for the northeastern Japanese coast; NHK said the quake could produce waves up 30 to 50 cm (12 to 20 inches) above normal.

The quake prompted a tsunami alert for the northwestern coast of the United States as well, though forecasters said only small sea-level changes could be expected.

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