Earthquake Hits Japan, Two Dead

At least two people have been killed, after an earthquake, measuring magnitude 6.0, struck southwestern Japan.

An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 hit southwestern Japan on Thursday, bringing down some buildings, killing at least two people and injuring hundreds, local media said, but the nuclear regulator reported no problems at power plants.

The initial tremor struck 11 km (7 miles) east of the city of Kumamoto, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). It said the magnitude was 6.2 but later revised it down.

There was no tsunami warning, but one person was killed after being crushed by a collapsing building, and the other by a fire that broke out after the quake, with at least 400 people being treated at local hospitals, public broadcaster NHK said.

NHK showed footage of firefighters tackling a blaze in a building in Mashiki, a town of about 34,000 people near the epicenter of the quake.

“We will do our utmost and carry on with life-saving and rescue operations throughout the night,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

In March 2011, a quake of magnitude 9.0 struck offshore north of Tokyo, causing tsunami waves along the coast that killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a nuclear power plant meltdown.

Categories: Asia, Japan, World

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