Japan Earthquake-29 Dead,1000 Injured

Two powerful earthquakes a day apart shook southwestern Japan, killing at least 29 people, injuring 1 500, trapping many beneath flattened homes and sending thousands to seek shelter in gymnasiums and hotel lobbies
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit southern Japan at 1.25 am local time (4.25pm GMT).

The epicenter of the quake was near the city of Kumamoto on the southern island of Kyushu and measured at a shallow depth of 10 kms (6 miles), the United States Geological Survey said.

A tsunami warning was issued, but this has since been lifted.
At least 29 people have been killed and more than 1000 people have been injured, media reports say.
Japanese media reported that nearly 200 000 homes were without electricity. Drinking water systems had also failed in the area. TV footage showed people huddled in blankets, quietly, shoulder to shoulder, on floors of evacuation centres.

One massive landslide tore open a mountainside in Minamiaso village in Kunamato Prefecture all the way from the top to a highway below. Another gnawed at a highway, collapsing a house that fell down a ravine and smashed at the bottom. In another part of the village, houses were left hanging precariously at the edge of a huge hole cut open in the earth.

Suga told reporters the number of troops in the area was being raised to 20 000 for rescue efforts, while additional police and firefighters were also on the way. He said 80 people had been seriously injured, while holding back on giving a death tally, warning that such numbers may grow. Some 1 500 people were injured, and nearly 70 000 people had evacuated, he said.

He pleaded with people not to panic. "Please let's help each other and stay calm," he said in a nationally televised news conference.
A magnitude 9 quake in March 2011, to the north of Tokyo, touched off a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Nearly 20,000 people were killed in the tsunami.

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