All About Japan

New Magnitude 7.3 Quake Hits Kyushu

| Information , Kumamoto Earthquake

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck the Kyushu region at 1:25 a.m. on Saturday, April 16. This follows the strong April 14 quake that killed nine and left over 1,000 injured. With strong tremors continuing in the region, there are now 41 dead and nearly 2,000 injured since Thursday.

The April 14 quake is now being considered a foreshock of the stronger April 16 tremor, with seismic activity expected to continue in Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures.

90 houses have been reported as completely destroyed, with nearly 800 half or partially destroyed. Those numbers likely to rise as more municipalities report in. In addition, utility service disruptions have left hundreds of thousands of households without power, gas and water. Officials in Kumamoto and Oita have advised roughly 240,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Japanese television has displayed images of landslides and a number of destroyed roads and bridges. Officials are calling on people in the affected regions to be careful of further landslides, particularly as torrential rains through Sunday pose a further threat to safety.

The terminal building at Kumamoto Airport has been closed due to damage, and all weekend flights have been canceled. Shinkansen bullet train services in Kyushu have been suspended, and damage to port facilities has forced the cancellation of some ferry services. Parts of Kumamoto Castle have collapsed as well.

With many cellular networks overloaded after a major incident, social media is often the best way to get in touch with loved ones. You can also check the disaster message boards set up by Japan's major cellphone companies, NTT, Softbank and AU. If you're not sure what company to check, we recommend inputting the same number into all three services.

NTT Message Board: http://dengon.docomo.ne.jp/Etop.cgi?es=0
SoftBank Message Board: http://dengon.softbank.ne.jp/pc-e1.jsp
AU Message Board: http://dengon.ezweb.ne.jp/E/service.do

Check ongoing coverage at NHK World below.