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Typhoon hits Japan, slams into nuke plant

Tokyo, Sept. 21 (Reuters): A powerful typhoon struck Japan today, killing six people, disrupting public transportation and pummeling Tokyo and northeastern Japan including the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant with heavy rain, officials and media said.       

Typhoon Roke, the second big storm to hit Japan this month, was packing winds of up to 180kmph at its centre and dumped more than 30cm of rain in parts of northeastern Japan over the past 24 hours, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 struck eastern and northeastern Japan at about 1300GMT as the storm passed through the area that was damaged by a massive quake and tsunami in March, the Meteorological Agency said.       

No tsunami alert was issued and no abnormalities were reported at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the quake, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Roke made landfall this afternoon near Hamamatsu, 200km west of Tokyo, then cut a path through the Tokyo area and was in Fukushima prefecture at 1200GMT moving in the northeast direction.

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