AGAIN, EARTHQUAKE HITS JAPAN

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    AGAIN, EARTHQUAKE HITS JAPAN

    – New quake more powerful than Thursday night’s

    – No casualty reported

    AGAIN, EARTHQUAKE HITS JAPAN

    A deadlier and more powerful earthquake has rocked the southern Japanese city of Kumamoto in the middle of the night, after an earlier tremor killed nine people.

    The magnitude-7.3 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 has been reported yet.

    A damaged road after the earhquake
    A damaged road after the earhquake

    According to the BBC, this new earthquake in the Kyushu region of south-western Japan was much bigger and hit a wider area than the one that struck Kumamoto on Thursday night. In the darkness it is hard to assess how bad the damage has been, our correspondent says.

    But in one town near the coast, the city hall has been so badly damaged there are fears it could collapse. A hospital is being evacuated because it is no longer safe.

    AGAIN, EARTHQUAKE HITS JAPANAGAIN, EARTHQUAKE HITS JAPAN

    Thousands of people have fled on to the streets and into parks – where they are huddled under blankets looking dazed and afraid, report says.

    But there are numerous reports of people trapped inside buildings, including at least 60 people trapped inside an old people’s home.

    The Japan nuclear authority has however announced the Sendai nuclear plant was not damaged.

    The quake was originally assessed as magnitude 7.1 but revised upwards to 7.3 later.

    According to the BBC, Gavin Hayes, a research geophysicist with the US Geological Survey (USGS) in Colorado, told the BBC that the latest earthquake would hamper the earlier rescue operation that was already under way. He added more damage could be expected as the earthquake had been shallower and the fault-line had been much longer.

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    “The ground surface would have moved in the region of 4-5m (yards). So, you are talking very intense shaking over quite a large area. And that’s why we’ll probably see a significant impact from this event.”

    The Associated Press news agency said guests at the Ark Hotel near the Kumamoto Castle, which was damaged, woke up and gathered in the lobby for safety.

    las night magnitude-6.2 quake reportedly caused shaking at some places as intense as the huge earthquake that hit the country in 2011, Japan’s seismology office said.

    That quake sparked a huge tsunami and nuclear meltdown at a power plant in Fukushima.

    Most of those who died in Thursday’s quake were in the town of Mashiki where an apartment building collapsed and many houses were damaged.

    More than 1,000 people were reported to be injured from both quakes

    Some 40,000 people had initially fled their homes, with many of those closest to the epicentre spending the night outside, as more than 130 aftershocks had hit the area.

    AGAIN, EARTHQUAKE HITS JAPAN