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Kumamoto quake victims remembered in Minamiaso

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Tokai University graduates pray for the victims at the site where an apartment building for its students used to stand in Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Monday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun KUMAMOTO — Bereaved friends and others commemorated the dead on Monday, the second anniversary of the main tremor of the Kumamoto Earthquake.

After the foreshock that killed nine people on April 14, 2016, the main shock of the Kumamoto quake occurred at 1:25 a.m. on April 16, leaving 41 dead. Some were killed when they became trapped under collapsed houses and buildings.

Sixteen people died in the main shock in Minamiaso in the prefecture, among them three students of Tokai University’s Aso campus who were killed when their apartment building collapsed.

On Monday, about 10 people, including students and graduates, visited the former site of the apartment building at the same time as the main shock and laid flowers for the victims. They also prayed for the dead at the Aso Ohashi bridge in the village.

Kazae Hayashi, a 21-year-old senior at the university, recalled crawling out of the collapsed apartment building.

“I still haven’t come to terms with my feelings. I want to keep my friends in my heart always,” Hayashi said.

The Kumamoto prefectural government carried out a disaster drill on Monday. All its about 3,800 employees were required to go to work on the presumption that an earthquake measuring a lower six on the Japanese seismic intensity scale occurred at 6 a.m. Speech

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