Death toll in the late last night’s earthquake in the southern Japanese city of Kumamoto has risen to 20. Media reports say, more than 1,000 were also injured in the 7.3 magnitude powerful earthquake that hit the Kyushu region a day after an earlier tremor killed nine people.
Meanwhile, Relief and rescue efforts are under way to help the victims. Around 20,000 troops have been deployed in the operation in the region. Dozens of people are feared trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Rescuers dug through the rubble of collapsed buildings and mud and debris today to reach the trapped persons , but continued aftershocks hindered rescue efforts. Quakes continue to rattle Kumamoto Prefecture and the surrounding regions.
Japan’s only operating nuclear power plant is also in Kyushu. Officials say there are no irregularities with the two reactors. Officials say around 69,000 people in Kumamoto Prefecture have been evacuated from their homes. Utility services have been disrupted. Hundreds of thousands of households are without power, gas, and water.
The quakes are also affecting transportation. Officials at Kumamoto Airport shut the terminal building after it was damaged by the tremors