Powerful 7.1 quake strikes Japan’s Kumamoto day after deadliest tremor since 2011
15 April, 2014
A magnitude-7.1 earthquake has hit Japan near the city of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported. Tsunami warnings were briefly issued for the area which is still recovering from Thursday’s devastating tremors.
The epicenter of the quake, which struck in the early hours of Saturday, was located at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers, near the area where a 6.5 earthquake struck on Thursday.
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake had a magnitude of 7.0 and its epicenter was located just 1 km southwest of the city of Kumamoto.
An aftershock of 5.8 magnitude has also been reported in the area.
The tsunami advisory was issued for the Ariake and Yatsushiro Seas.
Several people were reported to have received injuries in the quake, Japan's NHK broadcaster said, adding that some people have been trapped in the area around Kumamoto.
There have been several reports of collapsed buildings and cracked roads.
The Sendai Nuclear Power plant, the only operational nuclear power facility in Japan, is located in the region. The plant continued to operate, NHK reported, saying that no irregularities had been discovered at the nuclear facility. No irregularities have been reported at the other two plants in the area, the Genkai plant and the Ikata plant.
The original tsunami warning was later lifted by Japan's Meteorological Agency.
The deadliest quake since 2011 hit the country earlier this week, when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck east of Kumamoto on Thursday. At least nine people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in the natural disaster.
Most of the buildings that collapsed during the previous earthquake were old wooden houses, the broadcaster said, adding that highways have also cracked in many areas.
Over a hundred aftershocks have hit the region following the initial Thursday tremor, Reuters reported. Officials have then warned that the risk of further strong aftershocks would remain for about a week