5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Eastern Japan (Nov. 20, 2011)

Quake hits eastern Japan, nuclear plant stable (AFP, Nov. 20, 2011):

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Japan on Sunday, but a nuclear plant that was crippled by a huge quake and tsunami in March remained stable, officials said.

The quake hit at Ibaraki, 136 kilometres (84 miles) east of Tokyo and just south of Fukushima, at 10:23 am (0123 GMT) with its depth at 24.7 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

A tsunami was not expected, said the Japan Meteorological Agency, while there were no reports of damage.

Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said that the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remained stable.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11 triggered a monster tsunami that killed 20,000 people and crippled the cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, causing meltdowns in some of its reactors.

Radiation leaked into the air, soil and sea around the plant, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

A number of powerful aftershocks have shaken the region since the March quake.

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