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Kumamoto hit again; dozens die in M-7.3 quake

The Yomiuri Shimbun

An aerial view at 6:20 a.m. Saturday of the area that collapsed near the Aso Ohashi bridge in Minami-Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture

The Japan News A powerful quake with an estimated magnitude of 7.3 struck Kumamoto Prefecture at about 1:25 a.m. Saturday, following the magnitude-6.5 quake on Thursday night.

According to the Kumamoto prefectural government and other sources, 32 people were killed in the quake, which had its focus in the prefecture. The combined death toll from the quakes reached 41.

On Saturday, powerful aftershocks, measuring as strong as upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, have continued intermittently. The focus of at least one of the aftershocks was in neighboring Oita Prefecture.

At about 8:30 a.m., a small eruption was confirmed at Mt. Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, but there has been no significant change in its volcanic activity, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The collapsed two-story entry gate to Aso Shrine in Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The Aso Ohashi bridge’s collapsed section is seen from above at 6:27 a.m. on Saturday in Minami-Aso.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Inpatients take refuge outside the Kumamoto Shinto General Hospital in Kumamoto’s Chuo Ward at 3:05 a.m. after a strong aftershock.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    This aerial photo taken at 6:27 a.m. on Saturday shows a collapsed section of a road near the Aso Ohashi bridge in Minami-Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture.

The agency warned that strong aftershocks would occur over the next seven days.

In Minami-Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, a large landslide occurred, causing the entire Aso Ohashi bridge to collapse, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.

According to the agency, an upper 6 was felt in Chuo Ward, Kumamoto, and Kikuchi, Kumamoto Prefecture on Saturday. Upper 5 was recorded in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, and lower 5 in Minami Ward, Fukuoka.

The quake occurred at a depth of 12 kilometers, the agency said.

A tsunami warning was issued but lifted about 50 minutes later.

Strong aftershocks have continued to rattle the region.

At a press conference on Saturday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there had been reports of 53 cases of people being trapped inside buildings and 23 cases of people being buried under the wreckage.

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[Movie] Large landslide occurs after quakes in Kumamoto Pref.


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