Second big quake hits southern Japan, people flee onto streets

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A Second Devastating Earthquake Strikes Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck southern Japan early on Saturday, killing at least six people, injuring many more and bringing down buildings, media reported, just over a day after a quake killed nine people in the same region.

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Authorities warned of damage over a wide area, as reports came in of scores of people trapped in collapsed buildings, fires and power outages.

Residents living near a dam were told to leave because of fears it might crumble, broadcaster NHK said.

Saturday's trembler triggered a tsunami advisory, although it was later lifted and no irregularities were reported at three nuclear power plants in the area, a senior government official said.

See photos of the aftermath from the earthquakes:

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Japan earthquakes 4/14-15
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Second big quake hits southern Japan, people flee onto streets
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A woman rides a scooter in front of a collapsed house a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 16: People get up right after the 7.3 magnitude earthquak at the evacuation center at the Mashiki Town Gymnasium on April 16, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Kumamoto prefecture once again on April 16, 2016 after the 6.4 earthquake on April 14, 2016 killed nine people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 16: The rescue workers take care of an elderly woman suffering from the shock after the 7.3 magnitude earthquake at the evacuation center at the Mashiki Town Gymnasium on April 16, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Kumamoto prefecture once again on April 16, 2016 after the 6.4 earthquake on April 14, 2016 killed nine people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A bicycle and a car are seen by the collapsed house a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Hotel guests gather at the lobby after another earthquake hit the area in Kumamoto, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 16, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 16: A road newly damaged by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake is seen on April 16, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Kumamoto prefecture once again on April 16, 2016 after the 6.4 earthquake on April 14, 2016 killed nine people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
A patient is evacuated by emergency staff from an hospital in Kumamoto City on April 16, 2016, over fears it could collapse as a wave of aftershocks shook the area. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early on April 16, 2016, authorities said, sending panicked residents from their homes and damaging buildings in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. The earthquake hit just over a day after another strong tremor in the same area killed nine people, injured hundreds and toppled buildings. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
A patient is evacuated by emergency staff from an hospital in Kumamoto City on April 16, 2016, over fears it could collapse as a wave of aftershocks shook the area. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early on April 16, 2016, authorities said, sending panicked residents from their homes and damaging buildings in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. The earthquake hit just over a day after another strong tremor in the same area killed nine people, injured hundreds and toppled buildings. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
An elderly man who was evacuated walks in a park in Higashi-ku in Kumamoto City on April 16, 2016. A strong 7,0 earthquake hit southern Japan early, the US Geological Survey said, a day after another powerful tremor killed at least nine people in the same area. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes after the 6.5-magnitude quake struck the southwestern island of Kyushu on Thursday night, leaving lumps of concrete strewn in the streets. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Medical staff prepare to evacuate patients from the hospital in Kumamoto City on April 16, 2016, over fears it could collapse as a wave of aftershocks shook the area. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early on April 16, 2016, authorities said, sending panicked residents from their homes and damaging buildings in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. The earthquake hit just over a day after another strong tremor in the same area killed nine people, injured hundreds and toppled buildings. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Local residents walk next to a collapsed wall after an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 14, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house is seen collapsed a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Locals carry water cases a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house is seen collapsed a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house is seen collapsed a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. The owner of the house said that the house was damaged more by the aftershock that happened at 0:05. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house is seen collapsed a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house is seen collapsed a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A woman walks in front a collapsed house a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake at the Mashiki Town Hall on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: The Japan Self-Defense Forces members carry relief supplies for a soup-run at the evacuation center a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake at the Mashiki Town Hall on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Rescue workers give an elderly woman a piggy back ride after the earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
A woman reacts at a health and welfare center acting as an evacuation center after an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 15, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. THIS IMAGE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY, AN UNPROCESSED VERSION WILL BE PROVIDED SEPARATELY.
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house partially collapsed is seen after the earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Rescue workers are seen after the earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Firefighters check a collapsed house after an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 15, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Rescue workers are seen after the earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
A shop clerk cleans broken wine bottles following an earthquake in Kumamoto city on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Rescue workers and vehicles are seen after the earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Residents gather for shelter in front of the town hall following an earthquake at Mashiki town in Kumamoto prefectuire on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A house leaning to a side is seen after the earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Evacuees gather in front of the town office building after an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 15, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 14: A wall is seen partially collapsed due to the earthquake on April 14, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 14: The glass door of a store is seen broken due to the earthquake on April 14, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Firefighters check the damaged area following an earthquake at Mashiki town in Kumamoto prefectuire on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 14: The stone wall of the Kumamoto Castle is seen partly collapsed on April 14, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 14: The stone wall of the Kumamoto Castle is seen partly collapsed on April 14, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 14: The stone wall of the Kumamoto Castle is seen partly collapsed on April 14, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
A two-story house is seen tilted with a broken wall following an earthquake in Kumamoto city on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents stand on the street following an earthquake in Kumamoto city on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows an office following an earthquake in Kumamoto city on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents stand on the street following an earthquake in Kumamoto city on April 14, 2016. The strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 9:26 pm (1226 GMT) in Kumamoto, central Kyushu at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. ==JAPAN OUT== / AFP / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
A collapsed house is seen after an earthquake in Kumamoto, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 15, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.
Local residents wrap themselves in blankets as they sit on the road after they are evacuated from their home after an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 15, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.
Local residents walk next to a collapsed wall after an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 14, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Broken dishes are seen at a restaurant after an earthquake in Kumamoto, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 14, 2016. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. THIS IMAGE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY, AN UNPROCESSED VERSION WILL BE PROVIDED SEPARATELY.
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People still reeling from Thursday's shock poured onto the streets after the Saturday quake struck at 1:25 a.m. (1625 GMT).

A fire erupted in a what appeared to be an apartment building in Yatsushiro city, while some people were trapped in a nursing home in the town of Mashiki, according to NHK.

NHK reported six deaths and 760 people treated in hospitals, but that figure included "people who don't feel well", so it was not clear how many serious injuries there were.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said nearly 80 people were believed trapped or buried in rubble. Extra troops would be sent to help, with up to 15,000 due on Saturday, as well as more police, firefighters and medics, he said.

"We are making every effort to respond," Suga said.

Troops fanned out to search ruined houses as dawn broke.

The epicenter of the quake was near the city of Kumamoto and measured at a shallow depth of 10 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Almost 200,000 households were without power.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, arriving at his office, told reporters the government was making every effort to determine the extent of the damage, carry out rescue and recovery, and to get accurate information to citizens.

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"It's possible that there may be damage over a wide area," Abe said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency initially said the Saturday quake was 7.1 magnitude but later revised it up to 7.3.

The region's transport network suffered considerable damage with one tunnel caved in, a highway bridge damaged, roads blocked by landslips and train services halted, media reported. Kumamoto airport was also closed.

SHOCKS AND AFTERSHOCKS

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it was too early to assess the economic impact and bank operations in Kumamoto were normal.

"We'll closely monitor the effect of the earthquake and take appropriate action, working closely with relevant authorities," Kuroda said in Washington after a G20 finance leaders' meeting.

Much of the area around Kumamoto and a few sizeable towns is rural. Television footage showed many frightened people wrapped in blankets sitting outside their homes while others camped out in rice fields.

The earthquake on Thursday evening in the same region was of 6.4 magnitude and experts said the tectonic events could be linked.

"Thursday's quake might have been a foreshock of this one," Shinji Toda, a professor at Tohoku University, told NHK.

Several aftershocks rattled the region later on Saturday, including two of nearly 6 magnitude, and experts warned of more.

"We would not be surprised to see more earthquakes of this size," said John Bellini, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

A magnitude 9 quake in March 2011 north of Tokyo touched off a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Nearly 20,000 people were killed in the tsunami.

Japan is on the seismically active "ring of fire" around the Pacific Ocean and has building codes aimed at helping structures withstand earthquakes.

Factories in the area operated by manufacturers including Honda Motor <7267.T> and Sony Corp <6758.T> halted production after Thursday's tremor but no major damage was reported.

The 2011 quake temporarily crippled part of Japan's auto supply chain, but some companies have since adjusted the industry's "Just in Time" production philosophy in a bid to limit any repeat of the disruption.


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