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Strong quakes rock north Japan

Kushiro (Japan), Sept. 26 (Reuters): A series of strong quakes shook the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido today, collapsing the roof of an airport control tower, setting fire to an oil refinery tank and driving 40,000 people from their homes.

More than 400 people were injured. Officials issued tidal wave warnings as Japan’s Meteorological Agency measured the initial quake at 8 on the Richter scale — stronger than previous killer earthquakes — and warned aftershocks might last 10 days.

“The tremor was so strong, I could not keep standing,” a man told public broadcaster NHK outside his home, its windows shattered by the quake. “Everything was falling over in the house,” another said at a hospital. “A shelf hit my wife on the back.”

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