**To be or not to be, that is the question.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.4 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 VALPARAISO, CHILE
5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.2 OFF E. COAST OF N. ISLAND, N.Z.
5.8 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.3 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.1 MOLUCCA SEA
Yesterday, 2/16/15 -
6.8 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
6.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.3 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.4 FIJI REGION
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 NORTH OF ASCENSION ISLAND
5.0 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 struck off northeastern Japan on Tuesday and small waves were reported along the northern coast but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.
Japan lifted a tsunami advisory it had issued for the northeastern coast hours after small waves of between 10 cm and 20 cm (4-8 inches) reached the coast off Iwate prefecture, some 600 km (370 miles) north of Tokyo. Thousands of residents in the area had been ordered to evacuate. Live video from ports on the Iwate coast showed small waves lapping on the shore. Towns along the northeastern coast of Japan had been leveled in a devastating tsunami in March 2011.
"This quake is an aftershock of the 2011 quake that hit the Tohoku region," Japan Meteorological Agency seismologists said. The agency warned residents against entering the ocean and said waves could continue to fluctuate for some time.
Tuesday's quake was measured at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said there was no danger of a Pacific-wide tsunami but the Japan Meteorological Agency issued its tsunami advisory for Iwate prefecture after the quake. Tohoku Electric Power Co, which operates the Onagawa and Higashidori nuclear plants in nearby Miyagi and Aomori prefectures, said it saw no irregularities at the facilities after the quake.
All 48 of Japan's nuclear reactors remain offline after a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan. Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical storms.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
Record-Breaking Cold Grips Eastern United States - Record-breaking cold gripped the eastern United States on Monday while an icy winter storm crippled the nation's central states and then plowed into the mid-Atlantic, dumping snow ahead of Tuesday's morning commute.
Heavy snowfall and ice moving from the Southern Plains eastward pounded Missouri, Arkansas,southern Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. With the storm headed east and sleet and freezing rain expected to also take a swipe at the South, states of emergency were declared in North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, as well as in Washington, D.C.
Airlines canceled more than 1,800 U.S. flights, with the hardest hit airports in North Carolina and Tennessee. Freezing rain encased Tennessee in ice, closing roads, schools and tourist attractions. Sleet in Arkansas shut schools and the Governor told nearly all government workers to stay home.
Cars skidded off roads near Louisville, Kentucky, where there were six times the usual number of accidents and a fleet of more than 1,000 snow plows tried to clear slick roads. Citing nasty weather, Kentucky's state legislature said it would not reconvene until Wednesday at the earliest.
The storm dumped 10 inches (25 cm) of snow on Cincinnati and then headed east to Washington, D.C., slamming the nation's capital with heavy snow that could pile as high as 12 inches. "Washington and Baltimore - that's where the bulls eye's going to be." Slippery roads in western Pennsylvania on Monday were blamed for a collision between a van and a school bus carrying 13 students about 60 miles (95 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. Several people were hurt, although the extent of the injuries was unknown.
About 50 million Americans were under wind chill advisories as the mercury plunged to new depths, breaking records in New York City, where it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 Celsius), breaking the previous record for Feb. 16 of 9 F in 2003, and Washington, D.C., where it was 6 F, compared with 11 F recorded in 1987.
The weather front, expected to reach Boston by Wednesday, follows a weekend storm that dumped 16 inches, making it the snowiest February in the city's history. In the scramble to clear snow on Monday before the next round arrives, one person died while shoveling in Brighton and prison inmates from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections were put to work clearing mass transit rail lines. "The heaviest stuff will be close to the coast in eastern Massachusetts." The new storm will be followed by another arctic front, bringing frigid cold to the eastern United States by Thursday or Friday.
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