Japan earthquakes: Dozens killed, region 'swaying every hour' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Japan earthquakes: Dozens killed, region 'swaying every hour'

Posted: Updated:

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- After a series of powerful earthquakes hit Japan, emergency crews are scrambling to rescue survivors trapped in rubble as aftershocks sway Kyushu region.

At least 23 people died in the latest Kyushu earthquake, according to Kumamoto Prefecture's disaster management office. The 7.0-magnitude quake hit early Saturday local time.
Two days earlier, a 6.2.-magnitude quake rattled the area, killing nine people. This brought the total death toll from both earthquakes to 32. Both earthquakes left 968 people injured, according to the disaster management office.
The latest and most powerful earthquake struck near the city of Kumamoto. It toppled buildings, collapsed bridges and shredded structures into piles of debris.
At least 23 people are buried inside buildings, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Residents were already reeling from the effects of the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Thursday near Ueki city, just 15 kilometers away.
"The first earthquake was very big," said Osamu Yoshizumi, the senior chief of international affairs in Kumamoto. "We thought it was the big one."
That initial earthquake was a "foreshock" to the latest one, according to USGS.
 
At least 23 people died in the latest Kyushu earthquake, according to Kumamoto Prefecture's disaster management office. The 7.0-magnitude quake hit early Saturday local time.
Two days earlier, a 6.2.-magnitude quake rattled the area, killing nine people. This brought the total death toll from both earthquakes to 32. Both earthquakes left 968 people injured, according to the disaster management office.
The latest and most powerful earthquake struck near the city of Kumamoto. It toppled buildings, collapsed bridges and shredded structures into piles of debris.
At least 23 people are buried inside buildings, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Residents were already reeling from the effects of the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Thursday near Ueki city, just 15 kilometers away.
"The first earthquake was very big," said Osamu Yoshizumi, the senior chief of international affairs in Kumamoto. "We thought it was the big one."
That initial earthquake was a "foreshock" to the latest one, according to USGS.
 
After Saturday's deadly quake, Kumamoto prefecture continues to experience as many as 165 aftershocks. "I feel every aftershock," said Yoshizumi, who was working from the city hall building in Kumamoto. "It's swaying here every hour."
The aftershocks could hamper rescue efforts as emergency workers attempt to pull people trapped in the rubble. TV Asahi showed crews crawling over a collapsed roof in an attempt to find an elderly couple. An 80-year-old man was pulled from the rubble, according to TV Asahi.
Japan has deployed 20,000 self-defense forces to the rescue effort, Suga said.

The tremors appear to have caused extensive damage, overturning cars, splitting roads and triggering a landslide as shown by TV Asahi footage. Television images showed flattened houses, shards of broken glass and debris piled onto the streets and people huddled outside. Nearly 92,000 people have evacuated, according to the prefecture's disaster management office.

The Kumamoto government has opened over 100 evacuation centers for residents and have started handing out food, water and blankets, Yoshizumi said.
Kumamoto Castle, a famous site in Japan built in the early 17th century, is also badly damaged, he said.
Copyright 2016 CNN. All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.