Quake monitoring system allowed warning of today's tremor

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Associated Press

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 7 at 7:33 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Residents of Japan had a warning, shortly before today's strong quake that shook the northeastern part of the country.

Public television broadcaster NHK broke off regular programming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit.

The country's Meteorological Agency has an early warning system that uses data from seismographs scattered across the country. It allows the agency to provide advance warning of the estimated intensity and timing of a major quake.

According to an agency official, today's warning was issued six minutes before the quake struck.

After today's warning was broadcast, an announcer repeatedly urged everyone living near the coast to flee to higher ground.

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