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Quake strikes southwestern Japan

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Japan
U.S. Geological Survey
Earthquake

(CNN) -- A strong earthquake shook southwest Japan early Monday, but a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey said it was unlikely to have done serious damage.

The 6.3 magnitude quake struck at 5:01 a.m. Monday (4:01 p.m. ET Sunday) on the southern island of Kyushu, 825 km (500 miles) west-southwest of Tokyo.

"It's more than 150 kilometers [93 miles] deep," said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at USGS headquarters in Golden, Colorado. "I wouldn't expect it to do any real damage."

Strong earthquakes are defined as having magnitudes between 6.0 and 6.9; major earthquakes are 7.0-7.9; and great earthquakes are 8.0 and above.

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