&#thirty-nine;Race Against Time' To Discover Japan Quake Victims

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 1:44 PM

Thousands of troops are deployed as rescuers look for for people trapped below the rubble after the devastating seven. 3-magnitude quake.

&#thirty-nine;Race Against Time' To Discover Japan Quake Victims

It'south a "race against time" for rescuers searching for scores of victims trapped below rubble as Japan reels from its second major earthquake in two days, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said.

At least twenty-five people have been confirmed deceased and more than 1.000 injured after the 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Japan in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The no of casualties is expected to rise as rescue workers dig through collapsed buildings, mud and debris.

"Nothing is more necessary than human life and it's a race against time," said Mr Abe.

"Daytime today is the large test," he added.

The epicentre of the quake was close the city of Kumamoto on the southern island of Kyushu, the same region hit by a 6.2 tremor which killed nine people barely a day earlier.

Rescue efforts have been hindered by damage to the region'south transport network, with one tunnel caved in, a hwy bridge damaged, roads blocked by landslips and train and air services halted.

The no of military personnel sent to the area has been increased to 20.000.

Heavy rain and powerful winds forecast for the following few hours are threatening to further complicate the emergency response.

It's feared that rainfall hitting soil loosened by the quake could set off further mudslides in isolated rural towns, where people in collapsed homes are waiting to be rescued.

Continued tremors are also being felt, with more than two hundred thirty aftershocks of at minimum level one on the Japanese scale reported since Thursday'south quake, the country'south meteorological agency said.

One massive landslide has already torn open a mountainside in Kumamato Prefecture all the way from the top to a highway below.

Nearly 170.000 homes are without power across the region, while drinking water systems have failed.

Some 70.000 people have fled their homes.

Hundreds of patients have also been evacuated from a hospital in Kumamoto over fears it could collapse.

In a televised address, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "We're making every effort to respond. Please let'south assistance each other and stay calm."

Despite the damage, experts said there was nothing irregular reported at the three nearby nuclear power plants.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency initially issued a tsunami alert but later lifted it.

Seven hours after the quake a tiny eruption occurred at Mount Aso, about thirty miles from Kumamoto city, with smoke rising about one hundred metres.

Thursday'south 6.5-magnitude tremor hit at about 9.26pm local time, leaving nine people deceased and injuring around eight hundred others.

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