A strong earthquake shook northern Japan late on Thursday evening, briefly triggering tsunami alerts and renewed fears for the safety of the already damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
People in coastal areas across north-east Japan were told to evacuate to higher ground after the magnitude 7.4 earthquake, while public broadcaster NHK issued warnings of a tsunami of up to three feet along more than 300 miles of coastline north of Tokyo.
Workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant were evacuated by the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., which said there were no reports of injuries among the emergency crews at the plant after the earthquake. The company added that there were no reports of additional problems at the plant, while other nuclear facilities in Ibaraki and Miyagi prefectures also appeared to be operating normally.
The tremor struck just hours before the one-month anniversary of the magnitude 9 earthquake that triggered a tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. To date, police have confirmed that 12,596 people died as a result of the March 11 quake, while a further 14,747 are listed as missing presumed dead.
See below for more media links with an updated video link from the BBC, and a news report about the 6.5 Earthquake from Mexico
Naoto Kan, the prime minister, summoned his senior officials before midnight and was informed by the Meteorological Agency that the tremor was an aftershock - the largest to date - from the March 11 earthquake.
He was also informed that five northern prefectures were experiencing power blackouts and that authorities had closed major expressways in northern Japan as a precaution, but that no spikes in radiation levels had been detected close to the Fukushima nuclear plant and that work to inject coolant water into the facility was continuing.
Click source to read FULL report from Julian Ryall
The moment shaking skyscrapers terrify Tokyo AGAIN... but this time Japan escapes destruction after fresh 7.1-magnitude earthquake
- Daily Mail
Huge aftershock strikes SAME underwater spot as original March quake
Fukushima Nuclear plant evacuated
A fresh earthquake has struck in Japan, causing skyscrapers in Tokyo to shake uncontrollably from side to side and wreaking terror once again following last month's disaster.
A tsunami warning was issued after the 7.1-magnitude quake struck off the north-east coast at about 11.30 pm today Japan time, but the country's meteorological agency has since lifted it.
The quake has rattled nerves nearly a month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened the same area of coastline
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'No damage' at Japan nuclear plant after earthquake
Tsunami Fears Ease After Fresh Japan Quake
Mexico hit by magnitude 6.5 earthquake
A STRONG earthquake measuring magnitude 6.5 struck southern and central Mexico yesterday, but there were no initial reports of damage or casualties, Mexican and US officials said.
The tremor was strong enough to shake buildings and restaurants hundreds of miles away in the capital Mexico City, residents said.
US experts said the quake hit the Veracruz region at 11.11pm (AEST) about 57 kilometres from the city of Las Choapas. It was 167 kilometres deep.
The US Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.5 on the moment magnitude scale, and said the epicentre was almost 600 kilometres east of the capital.
No warning of a destructive tsunami was generated, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said in a statement.
The quake was especially felt in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders on Guatemala, an AFP correspondent reported.
In Mexico City - where memories of the magnitude 8.1 quake of September 19, 1985 that killed between 10,000 and 30,000 people remain fresh - restaurants and school buildings quickly emptied out.
"It was a strong one, and we have activated all the monitoring systems but have had no reports of damage or victims," said Elias Miguel Moreno, in charge of the Civil Protection office for Mexico City.
Japan earthquake prompts tsunami warning
BBC News with Video link
Authorities in north-east Japan ordered a general evacuation and workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant took shelter after an earthquake triggered a new tsunami warning.
However, the tsunami warning was lifted after 90 minutes and the earthquake - with a magnitude of 7.1 - did little obvious damage.
Fukushima officials said the quake had no detectable effect at the plant.