Thursday, April 14, 2016

Japan: Magnitude-6.4 earthquake strikes Kumamoto and surrounding areas; reports of damage, injuries emerging (Depth 15 km)

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas in Kyushu Thursday evening, the Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The quake, which logged the highest 7 on the Japanese earthquake intensity scale, jolted Kumamoto at around 9:26 p.m.

The extent of damage was not immediately clear, but reports of damaged buildings and injuries were slowly coming in.

In the town of Mashiki in Kumamoto Prefecture, where an intensity of 7 was recorded, an unconfirmed number of houses were reportedly flattened, with residents feared trapped inside, local authorities said, adding that some fires were also seen.

Places around Kumamoto also recorded strong jolts ranging between 3 and lower 5 on the Japanese scale.

A major aftershock struck the same region at around 10:07 p.m., logging an intensity of lower 6 on the Japanese scale, the weather agency said. Weaker aftershocks also followed.

NHK footage showed cameras set up on top of buildings swaying hard as the first temblor hit the region.

  • The weather agency said the earthquake is believed to have struck at a depth of 10 km.

JR Kyushu suspended all operations on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line following the quake. On the Sanyo Shinkansen Line connecting the Honshu mainland and Kyushu, power was lost between Hakata and Kokura stations but operations later resumed at around 9:40 p.m.

Following the quake, Kyushu Electric Power Co. said it found no abnormalities in its Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. The operator said it is further looking into any possible damage.

Shikoku Electric Power Co. said its Ikata nuclear plant, which is currently idled, sustained no damage from the Kumamoto quake.

Kumamoto police said reports of damaged roads were coming in to police and fire stations in the city of Kumamoto.

  • Meanwhile, no immediate damage was reported in neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immediately set up an emergency headquarters and instructed relevant authorities to gather information.

At a hastily arranged news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government was doing its utmost to get a full picture of the situation, adding that its top priority was the rescue operations.

According to the weather agency, the Kumamoto quake is the first intensity-7 quake since the Great East Japan Earthquake that wreaked havoc in the Tohoku region in March 2011.
  • M 6.1 - KYUSHU, JAPAN - 2016-04-14 12:26:36 UTC

Magnitude    Mw 6.1
Date time    2016-04-14 12:26:36.2 UTC
Location    32.82 N ; 130.63 E
Depth    15 km
  89 km S of Fukuoka-shi, Japan / pop: 1,392,289 / local time: 21:26:36.2 2016-04-14
11 km W of Kumamoto-shi, Japan / pop: 680,423 / local time: 21:26:36.2 2016-04-14
  • M6.2 - 7km SW of Ueki, Japan...
10.0 km deep
Nearby Places

    7.0 km (4.3 mi) SW of Ueki, Japan
    9.0 km (5.6 mi) SE of Tamana, Japan
    12.0 km (7.5 mi) WNW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan
    18.0 km (11.2 mi) N of Uto, Japan
    620.0 km (385.3 mi) SSE of Seoul, South Korea

  • An earthquake has struck southern Japan, bringing down several houses, a top government spokesman says.
No tsunami warning was issued after the quake, measured at a preliminary magnitude of 6.4.
The earthquake struck at 21:26 (1226 GMT) east of Kumamoto city, on the island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency says.
The Sendai and Genkai nuclear plants on Kyushu are reported to be operating as normal.
No casualties have yet been confirmed though police in Kumamoto prefecture say people may be trapped in collapsed houses.
An aftershock measuring 5.7 was recorded 40 minutes after the earthquake, the meteorological agency said.


  1. An official in Uki, a city in Kumamoto prefecture, told the Associated Press news agency that the walls of some houses had collapsed, in addition to part of the city hall's ceiling...

    Japanese state broadcaster NHK said a fire had broken out at a building in Mashiki, another town in the prefecture.

    It also reported (in Japanese) that one woman had been found unconscious, in a serious condition, under a collapsed building in Mashiki.

    Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said several houses had collapsed but officials were still assessing the damage, Reuters news agency reports.

    Some train services were suspended as a precautionary measure.

    Japan is regularly struck by earthquakes but stringent building codes mean that damage usually does not occur.

    A magnitude 9 earthquake struck northeast Japan in March 2011, triggering tsunami waves in a double disaster that left more than 18,000 people dead or missing and led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

  2. 1 feared dead, 50 injured after 6.4 quake hits southwest Japan ...

    One person is feared dead after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck east of Kumamoto, Japan.

    Fifty others have been taken to local hospitals, according to Kyodo News.

  3. The quake was followed about 30 minutes later by another smaller one with a magnitude of 5.7, the agency said...

    "We intend to do the utmost to grasp the situation," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

    "I'm now planning to hear what we have gathered on the situation."

    Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported that some buildings had collapsed in Kyushu with people possibly trapped, though details were scarce.

    Cameras set up by NHK showed violent shaking at the time of the quake, which was felt throughout Kyushu.

    Japanese media reported that the bullet train service was halted on the island.

  4. Nuclear plant near epicentre checked...

    NHK showed some damage including broken concrete, while residents stood outside making calls on mobile phones.

    An official at the Sendai nuclear plant in Kyushu, who declined to be named, said the plant was operating normally but that officials were checking for any abnormalities.

  5. Magnitude Mw 6.0
    Region KYUSHU, JAPAN
    Date time 2016-04-14 15:03:48.1 UTC
    Location 32.79 N ; 130.74 E
    Depth 2 km
    Distances 95 km S of Fukuoka-shi, Japan / pop: 1,392,289 / local time: 00:03:48.1 2016-04-15
    0 km W of Kumamoto-shi, Japan / pop: 680,423 / local time: 00:03:48.1 2016-04-15


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