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Jul 9, 2011 9:29 PM by Associated Press (AW)

7.1 earthquake rocks northeast Japan

TOKYO (AP) - A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 has hitoff the northeast Japan coast, prompting a tsunami warning.

The quake hit at 9:57 local time (0057 GMT) and a warning of a possible tsunami was issued for most of the northeastern coastline. The epicenter of the quake was in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan's main island, Honshu.

Japan's northeast coastline was devastasted by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that left nearly 23,000 dead or missing and touched off a nuclear crisis at a badly damaged facility in Fukushima.

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