A Japan earthquake of 6.5 magnitude killed at least nine people, injured 761 and, caused over 44,400 to flee toppled houses and buckled roads on the southern island of Kyushu on Thursday night, April 14, 2016.
According to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, aftershocks from the Japan earthquake could go on for a long time, collapsing more buildings. He described what to expect.
“The buildings that were damaged in the original shock have now been redamaged or reshaken. And all of a sudden you have a cracked building, and it wants to fall down with the second shake.”
An estimated 750,000 people felt the severity of the Japan earthquake which occurred where the most people lived in the area. The shallowness of the earthquake, going down 6.2 miles, is deadly according to John Bellini of the U.S. Geological Survey, who gave the following assessment:
“When you have a shallow earthquake, such as this one is, you have the potential for more damage because the shaking is close to the surface.”
In a report by the Associated Press, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he would visit the area, 800 miles southwest of Tokyo, to assess the earthquake damage. Some 1,600 soldiers were at the scene to deliver material aid in the form of blankets, adult diapers, and other emergency items to the thousands of people rendered homeless. Of the estimated 44,400 people evacuated, some had returned home by Friday morning.
“As far as we can tell from infrared images from a police helicopter, there appears to be a significant number of houses destroyed or half-collapsed. There are fears the number of injured could rise.”
The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that the earthquake struck Kumamoto at 9:26 p.m. from a relatively shallow depth beneath the ground, away from the water. The saving grace in this case was that there was no danger of a tsunami.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that police, firefighters and self-defense troops were mobilized and dispatched to the disaster area. Earthquake relief operations were extended throughout the night.
Secretary Suga assured the public that no damage was inflicted on Japan’s nearby nuclear facilities. The epicentre of the earthquake was less than 75 miles northeast of Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Sendai nuclear plant, the only one left functional after the Fukushima disaster.
The rest of Japan’s nuclear reactors remain offline due to the meltdown at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima plant in 2011, when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake sent a massive tsunami crashing into the facility. Some 22,000 people died from the devastation, about 20,000 from the initial quake and tsunami, and the other fatalities from health consequences of the disaster.
Japan’s Red Cross reported that its Kumamoto Hospital had treated 45 people, five of whom suffered serious injuries. According to Kumamoto prefecture disaster management official Takayuki Matsushita, two of the earthquake victims are believed to be from Mashiki, the most devastated town, about 10 miles east of Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu.
Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency determined, based on calls for help, the damage to be concentrated in the town of Mashiki, over 807 miles southwest of Tokyo. A victim in Mashiki reportedly died after being extracted from under debris. What constantly disrupts rescue operations are the aftershocks.
“I ask people in the disaster zone to act calmly and help each other.”
[Photo by Handout/Getty Images]