Residents wrap themselves in blankets as they take shelter outside the town hall of Mashiki, near Kumamoto city, southern Japan, after the earthquake early April 15, 2016.
Photo by Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News/AP

Powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake strikes southern Japan


A massive earthquake struck southern Japan Saturday, a day after the same region was rocked by a temblor that killed 9 people.

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

It briefly triggered a tsunami advisory that the Japan Meteorological Agency later lifted. At least five aftershocks rattled the region after Saturday’s quake, the strongest of which was a magnitude-5.8, the USGS sad.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether there were casualties from the latest quake.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 66 people were trapped inside a nursing home in Mashiki, the hardest-hit town, and rescue efforts were underway, The Associated Press reported. No other details were immediately available.

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Thursday night, a magnitude-6.5 quake shook the same area, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 800 others. There were more than 130 aftershocks.

“The shaking was so violent I couldn’t stand still,” said Hironobu Kosaki, a Kumamoto police official, after Friday night’s quake.

There was one glimmer of good news after Friday’s devastation: A baby who was buried under rubble for hours was rescued unscathed.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. has been in touch with authorities in Japan and isn’t aware 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 are monitoring it as best we can,” he said at the State Department briefing Friday. 

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Powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake strikes southern Japan