Japan Earthquake At 6.5 Magnitude: 9 Dead, 761 Injured, Over 44,400 Displaced, Aftershocks Ongoing

Kenneth Lim

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."
"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."

"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."

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."