Japan Jolted by Pair of Fatal Earthquakes

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 8:37 AM

At least fifteen people were killed in Saturday'south quake and another eighty suffered serious injuries, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said at an afternoon news conference.

Japan Jolted by Pair of Fatal Earthquakes

A massive earthquake struck southwestern Japan Saturday killing fifteen people and injuring scores more just a day after the same region was rocked by a temblor that left at least nine dead.

At least fifteen people were killed in Saturday'south quake and another eighty suffered serious injuries, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said at an afternoon news conference.

The exact death toll is still unclear. Local media NHK has reported eighteen killed in Saturday'south earthquake, while the Associated Press reports ten deceased in the previous quake.

The United States Geological Survey reported the magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck at 1:twenty-five a. m. Saturday in the city of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, at a depth of 25 miles.

Thursday night, a magnitude-6.5 quake shook the same area, killing at least nine and injuring more than eight hundred. There were more than one hundred thirty aftershocks.

Roughly 69.000 people have evacuated the Kumamoto Prefecture where at minimum 170.000 homes lost electricity and 385.000 are without running water, Suga said.

On Saturday afternoon, 2.000 soldiers were active in the rescue and relief efforts following the two quakes, but Suga said that no will expand to 15.000 by Saturday night.

There have been number irregularities reported at any of the nuclear power plants in the region, according to Suga.

Saturday'south earthquake briefly triggered a tsunami advisory that the Japan Meteorological Agency later lifted. At minimum five aftershocks rattled the region, the strongest of which was a magnitude-5.8, the USGS said.

Since Saturday'south quake was bigger, Thursday'south was technically a foreshock, a Meteorological Agency official, Gen Aoki, told a news conference.

The greatest seismic action was from Kumamoto Prefecture to Oita Prefecture, Gen Aoki, director of Japan Meteorological Agency earthquake and monitoring division, told reporters Saturday.

"In those areas where the tremors were strong, there is a higher risk of homes collapsing and landslides so we urge everyone to pay specific attention to tremors and rain," Aoki said.

The Fire and Catastrophe Management Agency said sixty-six people were trapped interior a nursing residence in Mashiki, the hardest-hit town, and rescue efforts were underway, the AP reported. Number other details were immediately available.

"The shaking was so violent I couldn't stand still," said Hironobu Kosaki, a Kumamoto police official, after Thursday night'south quake.

There was a glimmer of excellent news after Friday'south devastation: A baby who was buried below rubble for hours was rescued unscathed.

U. S. State Dept spokesman John Kirby said the U. S. has been in touch with authorities in Japan and isn't alert of any Americans who have been affected by the quakes.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the earthquake, this second one as well, and we're monitoring it as best we can," he said at the State Dept briefing Friday.

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