Friday, April 15, 2016

More Major Quakes In Diverse Places

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck southern Japan early on Saturday, killing at least six people, injuring many more and bringing down buildings, media reported, just over a day after a quake killed nine people in the same region.
Authorities warned of damage over a wide area, as reports came in of scores of people trapped in collapsed buildings, fires and power outages.
Residents living near a dam were told to leave because of fears it might crumble, broadcaster NHK said.
People still reeling from Thursday's shock poured onto the streets after the Saturday quake struck at 1:25 a.m. (1625 GMT).
A fire erupted in a what appeared to be an apartment building in Yatsushiro city, while some people were trapped in a nursing home in the town of Mashiki, according to NHK.
NHK reported six deaths and 760 people treated in hospitals, but that figure included "people who don't feel well", so it was not clear how many serious injuries there were.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said nearly 80 people were believed trapped or buried in rubble. Extra troops would be sent to help, with up to 15,000 due on Saturday, as well as more police, firefighters and medics, he said.
Troops fanned out to search ruined houses as dawn broke.
The epicenter of the quake was near the city of Kumamoto and measured at a shallow depth of 10 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Almost 200,000 households were without power.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, arriving at his office, told reporters the government was making every effort to determine the extent of the damage, carry out rescue and recovery, and to get accurate information to citizens. 
The Japan Meteorological Agency initially said the Saturday quake was 7.1 magnitude but later revised it up to 7.3. 
The region's transport network suffered considerable damage with one tunnel caved in, a highway bridge damaged, roads blocked by landslips and train services halted, media reported. Kumamoto airport was also closed.

This new earthquake in Kyushu was much bigger and hit a wider area than the one that struck Kumamoto on Thursday night, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo.
In one town near the coast, the city hall has been so badly damaged there are fears it could collapse. A hospital has been evacuated because it is no longer safe.

A severely damaged building in Kumamoto. Photo: 16 April 2016

A road newly damaged in Mashiki, Kumamoto.
Thousands of people have fled on to the streets and into parks - where they are huddled under blankets looking dazed and afraid, our correspondent says. 
But there are numerous reports of people trapped inside buildings, including at least 60 inside an old people's home. 
Public broadcaster NHK says the dam collapsed in the Nishihara village.

Evacuated residents in a park in Higashi-ku in Kumamoto City, Japan, 16 April

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 said more damage could be expected as the earthquake had been shallower and the fault-line had been much longer.
"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.
Thursday's magnitude-6.2 quake 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 injured. 
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.

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