Aftershocks rattle southwestern Japan after quake kills 9

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Earthquake Magnitude 6.4 Hits Japan

Aftershocks rattled southwestern Japan on Friday after a strong quake the night before killed nine people, injured at least 1,000 and cut power and water across the region, forcing the temporary shutdown of several auto and electronics factories.

By afternoon, more than 130 aftershocks had hit the area around the city of Kumamoto in the wake of the initial 6.4 magnitude quake the night before. Officials said the frequency was tapering off but the risk of further strong aftershocks will remain for about a week.

While the magnitude of Thursday's quake was much lower than that of the 9.0 March 11, 2011 quake that touched off a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, the intensity was similar because it struck on land and at a much shallower depth.

See photos from the aftermath:

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Aftershocks rattle southwestern Japan after quake kills 9
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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"We managed to huddle into a space, that's why we were saved," one man told NHK national television after he and his family were rescued from their collapsed house two hours after the quake hit. "We're all safe, that's what counts."

More than 44,000 people initially fled to schools and community centers, some spending the night outside after the first quake hit around 9:30 p.m.

Roads cracked, houses crumbled, and tiles cascaded from the roof of the 400-year-old Kumamoto Castle in the center of the city.

Among those pulled from the wreckage was an eight-month-old baby girl, wrapped in a blanket and passed hand to hand by firefighters. Several hospitals had to evacuate patients.

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Japanese stocks ended down 0.4 percent, with the impact of the quake limited primarily to regional shares that could experience some direct impact. Regional utility Saibu Gas Co Ltd (9536.T) finished 2.7 percent lower.

Several companies, including Honda Motor Corp (7267.T), suspended operations at plants in the area.

More than 3,000 troops, police and firemen were dispatched to the area from around Japan, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said more would be sent if needed.

"We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of local residents," Abe told a parliamentary committee.

Most of the dead came from Mashiki, a town of around 34,000 people near the epicenter of the quake, where firefighters battled a blaze late on Thursday. Daylight showed splintered houses under tiled roofs and an apartment building whose ground floor was pulverized, where two people died.

"I want to go home, but we couldn't do anything there," one boy at an evacuation center told TBS television as he bounced a baby in his arms.

Though the intensity of Thursday's quake on the Japanese scale matched that of the March 2011 quake that left nearly 20,000 dead, the absence of a tsunami helped keep the death toll down.

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Service on the Shinkansen superfast train in Kyushu was halted after one train derailed, and highways were closed after some sections collapsed. About 12,200 households were without electricity as of 12 p.m. (0500 GMT), according to Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc (9508.T), while some 58,000 lacked water.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said there were no irregularities at three nuclear plants on the southern major island of Kyushu and nearby Shikoku.

Sony Corp (6758.T), Mitsubishi Electric Corp (6503.T) and tire maker Bridgestone Corp (5108.T) also suspended operations at factories in the area.

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 costly disruption.

(Additional reporting by Joshua Hunt, Naomi Tajitsu and Tokyo newsroom; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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