Massive aftershock hits Japan

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake has struck off the north-east coast of Japan, triggering tsunami warnings and panics in the wake of last month’s devastating magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami.

The aftershock stuck at 11.32pm was centred 66km east of Sendai – which was hammered by the March 11 tsunami – at a depth of 49km.

The quake was initially measured a 7.4 magnitude, but has since been downgraded to a 7.1.

A tsunami warning was issued for the Miyagi Prefecture, and advisories were issued for Iwate, Fukushima, Ibaraki and the Pacific coast of the Aomori prefectures, since the March 11 quake.

No advisories were issued for New Zealand.

The latest aftershock is expected to have caused more damage to already devastated north-eastern Japan.

As of April 6, there 394 aftershocks larger than magnitude 5, three of which have been over 7. The largest to strike since the March 11 quake was a 7.7 magnitude, also on March 11.

On the other side of the Pacific, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck 57km south of Las Choapas, Veracrus in Mexico overnight, at a depth of around 10km, at 8.11am.

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