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The following is a chronology of major earthquakes in Japan since May 1983. As well as a magnitude reading, Japan operates a seismic intensity scale that ranges from 1 to 7. Levels 5 and 6 have had “lower” and “upper” categories since 1996.

* May 26, 1983 — Magnitude 7.7 and level 5 on Japanese scale, jolted Akita and surrounding areas, killing 104 people.

* Sept. 14, 1984 — Magnitude 6.8 and level 6, struck Otaki, Nagano Prefecture, killing 29 people.

* Jan. 15, 1993 — Magnitude 7.8 and level 6, jolted Kushiro, Hokkaido, killing two people.

* July 12, 1993 — Magnitude 7.8 and level 5, hit Hokkaido, killing 230 people.

* Dec. 28, 1994 — Magnitude 7.6 and level 6, shook Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, killing three.

* Jan. 17, 1995 — Great Hanshin Earthquake, magnitude 7.3 and level 7, devastated Kobe and other parts of Hyogo Prefecture, killing 6,433.

* July 1, 2000 — Magnitude 6.4 and a lower 6 on the Japanese scale, jolted the Izu Islands, south of Tokyo, killing one person.

* Oct. 6, 2000 — Magnitude 7.3 and upper 6, struck Tottori Prefecture, injuring more than 50 people.

* March 24, 2001 — Magnitude 6.7 and lower 6, hit Hiroshima Prefecture, killing two people.

* May 26, 2003 — Magnitude 7 and lower 6, jolted parts of Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, injuring more than 140 people.