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Strong quake hits southern islands of Japan

TOKYO — A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 rattled Japan's southern islands early today, injuring two and initially prompting fears of a tsunami.

There were no reports of serious damage from the quake, believed to be the strongest in a century to hit Japan's southern Okinawa Island. Japan's Kyodo news agency said two people were hurt, but there were no reports of any deaths.

The only damage reported hours after the quake was ruptured water pipes in two locations, Okinawa police official Noritomi Kikuzato said.

The Meteorological Agency had initially predicted a tsunami of up to 6 feet. The agency lifted the warning within two hours after observing only a small swelling of the tide.

Wreckage of Mexican anti-drug plane found

TIJUANA, Mexico — Mexican marines have found the wreckage of a small military anti-drug patrol plane reported missing earlier this week in northern Mexico.

Military officials said Friday that the aircraft's three occupants were found dead at the scene, just south of the Baja California city of Ensenada.

The marines and army conduct joint operations in the region, and it was not immediately clear which branch the victims belonged to.

While drug traffickers have sometimes opened fire on official aircraft, Mexico has also had difficulties in safely operating official craft.

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