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Earthquake kills 9 in Japan, aftershocks expected

15 Apr 2016 | By Gaurav

The Kumamoto Prefecture disaster management office stated that at least nine people died when an earthquake struck Japan on Thursday.

Search crews scrambled to dig through rubble in southern Japan, looking for people trapped under collapsed buildings.

Nearly 800 people were injured, 50 of whom were in critical condition.

Officials stated that over 44,449 people were evacuated from sensitive areas.

In context: The Japan earthquake

Introduction Japan: Prone to earthquakes

Japan is situated in an area of high seismicity.

It located by the Boso Triple Plate, the meeting point of the North American Plate to the north, the Pacific Plate to the east and the Philippine Sea Plate to the south.

It is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire extending from the east coast to South America to South East Asia.

The biggest quake to hit Japan

The largest recorded quake to hit Japan came on March 11, 2011, when a magnitude-9.0 quake centered 231 miles (372 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo devastated the country and caused the Fukushima nuclear accident.
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14 Apr 2016Details of the earthquake

An estimated 750,000 people felt "violent to severe shaking" from the earthquake.

In addition to destroying 19 houses, the quake hurled items off store shelves and littered streets with rubble.

The quake was centered mostly under land, not an ocean, meaning it did not spawn a major tsunami.

The quake lasted for 20 seconds and was followed by a dozen aftershocks.

Casualties Details of casualties in the earthquake

So far, nine people have been confirmed dead, ranging in age from 29 to 94.

Five women and four men were among those killed.

From details available, two deaths occurred in Mashiki, one person died in a collapsed house, and another died in a fire caused by the quake.

Eight of the nine victims were from the Mashiki region.

Nuclear plant not affected

The epicentre of the earthquake was 120 kilometres northeast of Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear plant, the only one operating in the country. The plant was unaffected.

Relief EffortsHow have relief efforts progressed?

Thousands of people were evacuated from sensitive areas after officials said aftershocks could be expected for the next one week.

Rations of bread and water were distributed to evacuees in the early hours of Friday.

Over 1600 soldiers from Japan's self defence forces were deployed to help in rescue efforts.

Teams from the Red Cross also joined relief efforts.

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15 Apr 2016Earthquake kills 9 in Japan, aftershocks expected

Electricity, gas supply cut to prevent disaster

Power has been cut at 14,500 households, according to Kyushu Electric Power Corporation. Saibu Gas Co. said it received 54 reports of gas leaks by 6 a.m. Friday, and stopped supplying gas to some 1,100 households in the city of Kumamoto.

16 Apr 2016Second earthquake measuring 7.3 hits Japan

A second earthquake shook southern Japan, leaving 11 people dead and injuring hundreds more.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake left hundreds of people trapped in collapsed buildings.

Authorities have warned of devastation over a large area with reports of "fires, power outages, collapsed bridges and gaping holes in the earth."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was doing everything possible to rescue those trapped.

17 Apr 2016Dozens buried alive in Kyushu earthquake

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck Japan's island of Kyushu yesterday, left at least 32 dead and set off huge landslides across the region.

At least 1,000 people were being treated for injuries, many of them serious, while over 90,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

20,000 troops were pressed into service, after meteorologists forecast a severe storm that may worsen the situation.