At least three people have been killed, after an earthquake, measuring magnitude 7.3, struck southern Japan, just over a day after another quake killed nine in the region.
A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck southern Japan early on Saturday, killing at least three people, injuring many more and bringing down buildings, media reported, just over a day after a quake killed nine people in the same region.
The 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.
Saturday’s tremor triggered a tsunami advisory, although it was later lifted and no irregularities were reported at three nuclear power plants in the area, a senior government official 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 three deaths and nearly 400 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.