Strong 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan, Tsunami Warning Issued
Two aftershocks, 5.8 close to Uto and 5.7 magnitude near Ozu, were recorded by USGS about 20 minutes later.
Japanese broadcaster NHK said a number of calls were coming in from residents reporting people being trapped inside houses and buildings.
Sirens of patrol vehicles were heard on the background as NHK reported from the hardest-hit town of Mashiki. The asphalt ground outside the town hall had a new crack, apparently made by the latest earthquake.
The depth of Friday’s 7.0 magnitude tremor was 7 kilometers.
A tsunami warning has been issued for coastal areas of the Ariake Sea and Yatsushiro Sea. “Get out of the water and leave coastal regions immediately,” said the alert, according to BNO News.
The tsunami warning was lifted at 2:14 a.m. local time, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities were found at the Sendai nuclear plant, where the only two of Japan’s 43 operable reactors are online.
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Thursday’s 6.5 Earthquake
At least 860 people were injured in Thursday’s quake—53 of them seriously, said government chief spokesman Yoshihide Suga. The Kumamoto prefecture counted 784 injured.
Officials said nine people died, eight of them were from Mashiki, a small town near the epicenter of the 6.5-magnitude quake. The dead include five women and four men, said Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency. One of the victims who died was a man in his 20s, and the others ranged from their 50s to a woman in her 90s.
About 44,000 people stayed in shelters overnight. News reports on TV showed troops delivering blankets and adult diapers to victims in shelters.
There were reports of more than 100 aftershocks after the earthquake throughout the region. A video shows people panicking during a strong aftershock. There were also fires caused by the quake.
Suga said 1,600 soldiers had joined the relief and rescue efforts. However, the numerous aftershocks kept people from starting to clean up the destruction left by the initial quake. Suga said water service was shut down in some areas, leading people to haul water from local offices to their homes to flush toilets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.