Japan’s Kyushu island hit by major earthquake for second day in a row

KUMAMOTO, Japan, April 15 (UPI) — A major earthquake rocked southern Japan on Friday for the second day in a row, in the same region where a quake hit on Thursday, killing nine people.

The new quake struck near Kumamoto on the island of Kyusha with a magnitude of 7.0, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Some news reports said it had a magnitude of 7.4.

A tsunami warning was also issued, but has since been lifted.

CNN reported that the quake early Saturday killed at least one person and caused heavy damage on Kyushu, where nearly 200,000 homes lost electricity. The damage assessment was attributed to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Rescuers are searching for survivors in buildings that have suffered catastrophic damage.

Friday’s quake is the second major tremor to hit the area in as many days. A 6.2 magnitude quake struck the same island Thursday, killing 9 people and injuring hundreds more.

“No question, this is a large and very important earthquake,” Doug Given, a geophysicist with the USGS, said. “And it will do a lot of damage.”

Japanese authorities and emergency personnel previously said they would get a better idea of the second quake’s scope after daybreak Saturday. The earthquake happened around 1:30 a.m. local time — a little more than 24 hours after Thursday’s 6.2 magnitude quake.

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