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Published on : Saturday, April 16, 2016
Rescue efforts continue as south-western Japan fall victim to a deadly earthquake of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck Japan’s Kyushu Island. The same region was rattled by a 6.2 quake two days earlier.
According to Kumamoto Prefecture’s disaster management office, the death toll in the Kyushu earthquake rose to 19 people. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that at least 23 people were buried inside buildings which were toppled as pile of debris after the quake.
At around 1.30am on Saturday, people across the island woke to a powerful tremor which caused widespread damage, with several landslides.
The 500-bed city hospital in Kumamoto was one of several buildings nearly demolished by the quake, according to the Japanese broadcaster NHK. Tens of thousands of people reportedly fled their homes as the quake rocked. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the earthquake was centred a half mile from Kumamoto, the capital city of the Kumamoto prefecture.
Tsunami warnings were triggered by Saturday’s quake, though no tsunami eventuated, and there was confusion and anxiety for the thousands of evacuees who had already seen their homes destroyed or damaged.
With more than 1500 injured with 80 of them seriously wounded, casualty figures are likely to increase. As many as 70,000 people had left their home. More than 44,000 people sought shelter in schools and community centres after the quake hit Thursday, with some spending the night outdoors, Reuters reported.
Highways crumbled, buildings damaged, and a bullet train derailed. However, no passengers were aboard and there were no injuries.