For the second day in a row, an earthquake has slammed southwestern Japan near the island of Kyushu.
The quake, which was initially rated at 7.4 and later downgraded, hit at 1.26am on Saturday, local time.
Kyushu is still recovering from yesterday’s quake which injured thousands and killed nine.
A tsunami warning was issued, but has now been lifted.
Are these quakes the prelude to a much larger event?
USA Today reports:
Friday’s earthquake was centered only a half mile from Kumamoto, the capital city of the Kumamoto prefecture on the island of Kyushu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Mashiki, a suburb of Kumamoto, was the worst-hit town in Thursday’s quake, which measured magnitude-6.2.
A magnitude-7 earthquake is 6.3 times bigger than a magnitude-6.2 earthquake on a seismogram, but is 15.8 times stronger terms of its energy release, according to the USGS.
Kyushu, with a population of around 13 million, has a subtropical climate and is the southwesternmost of Japan’s main islands.
Early Friday, rescuers pulled an eight-month-old baby girl from rubble in Mashiki early Friday after the magnitude-6.2 quake struck the area at 9:26 p.m the previous night.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said over 140 aftershocks were recorded by Friday evening and warned more strong tremors could occur in the coming days, Kyodo news agency reported.
More than 44,000 people sought shelter in schools and community centers after the quake hit Thursday, with some spending the night outdoors, Reuters reported.
Buildings were damaged, highways crumbled and a bullet train was derailed by the quake, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported. It said no passengers were aboard the train and there were no injuries.
None of the nuclear power plants in the affected area reported damage, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office.
In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, killing more than 16,000 people. About 2,500 remain missing.
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