Powerful earthquake hits northern Japan

Tokyo:  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Japan near the major city of Sapporo at the wee hours on Thursday.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said, the earthquake struck the northern island of Hokkaido at about 3 AM local time at the depth of 40 km on Thursday. No tsunami warning was issued.

The Japanese national broadcaster NHK, citing its own tally, reported that 125 people were injured and about 20 were feared missing.

There are also reports of collapsed roads and power outages.

The power company in Hokkaido said all of the nearly 3 million buildings across the prefecture are without electricity. Evacuation shelters are being set up in Sapporo and other cities.

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