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7.4-magnitude earthquake hits southern Japan

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake has struck near Kumamoto in southern Japan.

Japanese broadcaster NHK said a number of calls were coming in from residents reporting people being trapped inside houses and buildings.

The quake hit at a depth of 40km (25 miles). The scientific agency earlier reported a 7.1 quake with a depth of 7km near the same location.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory, urging people to leave coastal regions but it was lifted 50 minutes earlier.

There are fears that some people may be trapped in collapsed buildings and rescue services are working through the night.

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Tsunami warning issued after earthquake in South Pacific

A tsunami warning has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre after an earthquake struck off the coast of the South Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit 146 km off the north-northwest of Vanuatu on Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey.

The tsunami warning said wave could affect coasts within 300km of the earthquake's epicentre.

Indonesia issues tsunami warning after earthquake

The earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra

Indonesia has issued a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck of the coast of Sumatra.

The warning is for West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh after a powerful and shallow earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday, the National Meteorolgical Agency said.

USGS originally put the magnitude at 8.2, and then 8.1, before lowering it to 7.9.

Indonesia, especially Aceh, was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

The country straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Earthquake strikes New Zealand city

The earthquake's epicentre was 15km east of Christchurch Credit: Google Maps

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake has struck near Christchurch, on New Zealand's east coast.

The quake caused cliffs to collapse into the sea, but no injuries and no major damage to the city was reported.

The epicentre of Sunday's earthquake was 15km east of Christchurch, the country's seismological body Geonet, said.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said: "Obviously with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake so close to the eastern coast of Christchurch its certainly been a big shock for the city, a set back in terms of people's confidence and feeling of security."

In 2011, Christchurch was devastated by an earthquake which killed nearly 200 people.

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Magnitude 5.3 earthquake hits Japanese capital Tokyo

An earthquake has shaken Tokyo and the surrounding areas earlier today, but no tsunami warning has been issued, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Reuters report that the magnitude 5.3 quake - downgraded from 5.6 - centered in the Ibaraki prefecture just northeast of the Japanese capital shook buildings and briefly halted the city's rail network.

There has been no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits central Japan

Rescue workers are seen between collapsed houses after an earthquake in Hakuba town, Nagano prefecture. Credit: Reuters

A strong earthquake has struck a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics, knocking down at least 10 homes in a ski resort town and injuring several people.

Authorities say at least 39 people were injured in the initial tremor

The magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck near Nagano city at a depth of six miles, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The US Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

One of the hardest-hit areas appeared to be Hakuba, a ski town west of Nagano that hosted events in the 1998 games. Ten homes collapsed there, said Shigeharu Fujimura, a Nagano prefecture disaster management official.

Nine people were trapped underneath the collapsed houses, but they all were rescued, and none had life-threatening injuries, said Hakuba official Tomoyuki Shimokawa.

Officials at Japan`s Meteorological Agency are warning people to be on the alert for aftershocks in the days ahead

USGS: 6.3 magnitude quake strikes northern Thailand

An earthquake of 6.3 magnitude struck northern Thailand on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

There have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The quake struck 20 miles (32 km) southwest of the town of city of Chiang Rai, was felt in the capital, Bangkok, residents said.

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