Major quake shakes Japan

A major earthquake shook a large part of Japan on Friday afternoon sparking a tsunami warning across much of Japan's eastern coast.

The earthquake hit at 2:46pm (5:46am GMT) and measured magnitude 7.9. It was centered 10 kilometers below the Pacific Ocean off Miyagi prefecture.

Buildings in the Japanese capital shook violently and items were knocked off shelves. Railway and subway lines stopped, expressways were closed and a nuclear power station automatically stopped.

The quake measured 7 on the Japanese scale of 1 to 7 in Miyagi prefecture.

The quake, which was the strongest felt for years in Tokyo, was followed by several aftershocks.

(more to come)

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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