Magnitude 5.4 earthquake jolts western Japan

TOKYO Tue Jul 5, 2011 7:23am EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake with preliminary magnitude 5.4 jolted Wakayama prefecture in western Japan on Tuesday, the Meteorological Agency said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damages and no tsunami warning was issued.

The earthquake caused strong shaking in the area near the epicenter, to the south of Japan's third-largest city of Osaka.

The focus of the quake, at 7:18 p.m. (1018 GMT), was 10 km (6 miles) below the surface in northern Wakayama, 460 km west of Tokyo.

No nuclear power plants are located near the epicenter.

A 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami on March 11 devastated areas along the Pacific coast in northern Japan and triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

Engineers are still struggling to bring the reactors under control.

(Reporting by Edmund Klamann and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Sanjeev Miglani)

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