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Monday, 18th April 2016
In General Japan News,

Search for survivors in Kyushu after second earthquake rocks southern Japan

Rescue workers are searching for survivors among the rubble after an earthquake hit the island of Kyushu in southern Japan on Friday (April 15th).

It is the second quake to rock the region, after nine people were killed on Thursday before Mashiki town was evacuated.

The quake hit at 1.25am local time on Saturday morning, or 5.25pm in the UK and was followed by heavy rainfall and landslides.

It measured 7.3 on the Richter Scale and killed 18 people, with a further 1,500 injured and 11 still missing, according to the prefectural government.

The first 72 hours are considered the most vital after an earthquake to find those trapped still alive and the weather conditions will not have helped the situation.

By Sunday morning, some 196,000 people had been evacuated from Kumamoto Prefecture and Oita, which is next door.

Alastair Donnelly, director of Inside Asia Tours, said: “The earthquake that struck the region on Friday was considerably more powerful than Thursday's quake and as such the damage is more extensive and sadly more Japanese have lost their lives.

“The city of Kumamoto will take several months to recover and we don't expect tourists will be able to travel to the worst affected towns for some time. However, the rest of Kyushu is relatively unaffected and once the damage has been assessed we expect the vast majority of the transport and hotel infrastructure to be up and running in just a few weeks.

“In the meantime, the Inside Japan teams in the UK and the US remain in close contact with the operations team on the ground in Japan monitoring the situation closely in order to keep all our clients updated. Those clients scheduled to stay in the worst affected areas will be able to reroute their trips to other areas of Kyushu.”

Related news stories:
Luxury trains to be introduced in Kyushu (23rd February 2011)
New Japan tourism knowledge sharing site launched (4th September 2015)
Japan court orders Google to remove autocomplete (27th March 2012)
Kumamoto Airport reopens to commercial passengers (19th April 2016)