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Japan Downgrades Tsunami Warnings After Powerful Earthquake


Tsunami fears eased in Japan Saturday after a powerful Pacific Ocean earthquake caused only minor waves in parts of the country.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says a 40-centimeter wave hit Chichi island, east of the Okinawa island chain and about 1,000 kilometers southeast of Japan's main island. Small waves of around 10 centimeters also hit Nemuro and several other areas in northeastern Japan. No damage has been reported in any areas.

An eight-point-three magnitude earthquake hit Saturday afternoon east of the Kuril Islands, at 1:24 local time (0424 UTC).

The agency issued tsunami warnings throughout the country's northern region, and lesser tsunami watches for a wide swathe of northeastern and eastern Honshu - Japan's main island.

The agency has since downgraded all warnings and watches to advisories, and has lifted advisories in some areas.

The agency had earlier said waves as high as one meter could hit the northeastern coast of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

The United States has canceled tsunami warnings and watches issued earlier for various locations around the Pacific Ocean. Those regions include Russia, the Marcus Islands, Taiwan, Canada, Indonesia, the U.S. island of Guam and the states of Hawaii and Alaska.

There are no immediate reports of injuries from the earthquake.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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