Powerful earthquake hits same area of Japan struck Thursday

It is early Saturday morning in Japan but people near the city of Kumamoto didn’t get much sleep last night. The city, which is located in Japan’s southernmost main island, was struck by a 7.3 magnitude quake just after 1 am Saturday. BBC reports:

The magnitude-7.1 quake at a depth of 10km (6 miles) hit at 01:25 on Saturday (15:25 GMT on Friday), causing some damage but no casualties…

Live television pictures from the scene showed thousands of people filling streets and parks, looking dazed and afraid.

Aftershocks are continuing to hit the area, making the job of rescuing people even harder, our Tokyo correspondent says.

The NY Times is reporting the quake, initially reported to be a 7.1, has been upgraded to magnitude 7.3 (some reports elsewhere are saying 7.4):

Japanese broadcaster NHK said a number of calls were coming in from residents reporting people trapped inside houses and buildings. Video showed a resident, apparently rescued from underneath a collapsed house, on a stretcher being taken to a hospital by ambulance…

The agency upgraded the magnitude to 7.3 from an initial reading of 7.1. Compared to the temblor that struck late Thursday night just south of the town of Mashiki, the most recent quake and aftershocks appear to be moving east, spreading damage to the northeast.

A weather forecasting enthusiast who lives in the area tweeted his experience of the quake throughout the night:

This is the second strong quake in the same area this week.  A 6.5 magnitude quake struck the same area on Thursday resulting in 9 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Rescuers pulled an 8-month-old little girl from the rubble of a collapsed house. Incredibly she was completely unharmed:


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