TOKYO (AP) – A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 struck off the northeast coast of Japan on Tuesday, triggering a small tsunami, collapsing buildings, knocking out power and shaking skyscrapers nearly 200 miles away in Tokyo.

A caved-in roof at an indoor pool in the coastal city of Sendai injured 14 people, national broadcaster NHK reported. Two more people were injured in the neighboring state of Iwate, Kyodo News Agency reported.

Television footage showed a collapsed house outside Tokyo and landslides in the quake zone.

The temblor knocked out power to about 17,000 households and forced officials to suspend bullet train service in northern Japan, Kyodo said.

The quake hit around 11:46 a.m. and was centered 12 miles below the ocean floor about 50 miles off the coast of Miyagi state in northeastern Japan, the Meteorological Agency said.

Two tsunamis that were originally forecast to be 20 inches in height hit the coast with 4-inch waves; officials expected little damage. Tsunami waves are often barely noticeable in the ocean but can rise to great heights once they arrive at shore.

The quake was followed by at least four aftershocks and additional quakes of up to magnitude 6 could follow, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was 7.2 in magnitude. Japan’s Meteorological Agency initially measured it at 6.8.

Japan sits at the juncture of four tectonic plates – or moving slabs of the earth’s outer crust – and is one of the world’s most quake-prone regions. A magnitude-6.0 quake shook the Tokyo area on July 23, injuring more than two dozen people and suspending flights and trains for hours. A magnitude-5 quake can damage homes and other buildings if it is centered in a heavily populated area.

A magnitude-6.0 quake shook the Tokyo area on July 23, injuring more than two dozen people and suspending flights and trains for hours. A magnitude-5 quake can damage homes and other buildings if it is centered in a heavily populated area.

A Dec. 26 earthquake with a magnitude estimated at 9.1 to 9.3 and the subsequent tsunami killed more than 131,000 people in Indonesia and left half a million homeless.


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