7-Magnitude quake jolts Tokyo as New Year 2012 dawns

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Japan on Sunday, bringing back the tragic memories of March earthquake that had hit the country last year.

The quake jolted Tokyo at 2:28pm with a depth of about 370 kilometres, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, with its epicentre near Torishima, a northwestern Pacific island 560 km south of the capital. No tsunami warning was issued.

The March earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami last year killed more than 19,000 people and the consequent nuclear leak from the Fukushima power plant near Ibaraki prefecture had left the entire region stunned. Even now residents carry nuclear radiation measuring devices with them to watch their exposure to radiation.

The country’s pain was echoed by Emperor Akihito in his New year message: “Our country is now going through difficult times because of the earthquake and other factors… But I hope that the people’s hearts will always be with the afflicted, and that everyone will continue and work together to build a brighter tomorrow.”

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