2nd deadly quake hits Japan, 'race against time' to find survivors

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Earthquakes kill 35 in Southwestern Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) -- The desperate search for survivors intensified on Sunday in the splintered remains of buildings destroyed by Japan's deadly earthquake and authorities ordered nearly a quarter of a million people from their homes amid fears of further quakes.

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Japan earthquakes 4/14-15
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2nd deadly quake hits Japan, 'race against time' to find survivors
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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A 7.3-magnitude tremor struck early on Saturday morning, killing at least 32 people, injuring about a thousand more and causing widespread damage to houses, roads and bridges.

It was the second major quake to hit Kumamoto province on the island of Kyushu in just over 24 hours. The first, late on Thursday, killed nine people.

Rescuers on Sunday searched for dozens of people feared trapped or buried alive, while survivors queued for scarce supplies of food and water.

Factories for companies including Sony, Honda and Toyota halted production as they assessed damage in the region, an important manufacturing hub in Japan's south.

In the village of Minamiaso, eight people remain "out of contact," said public broadcaster NHK. Rescuers pulled 10 students out of a collapsed university apartment in the town of Minamiaso on Saturday.

Overnight, rescuers digging with their bare hands dragged some elderly survivors, still in their pajamas, out of the rubble and onto makeshift stretchers made of tatami mats.

"The Self Defense Force, police and fire-fighters have been working to rescue people but there are still missing people," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. "The government will further deploy all possible means by expanding the troop size to 25,000," he said, adding he had accepted a U.S offer of help with air transportation in the rescue efforts.

Three nuclear plants in the region were unaffected by the quake, but factories supplying tech and auto parts to companies like Sony Corp, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd were shut to assess any damage.

Heavy rains fueled worries of more landslides and with hundreds of aftershocks and fears of more quakes, thousands spent the night in evacuation centers. Firefighters handed out tarpaulins to residents so they could cover damaged roofs, but many homes were simply deserted.

The indiscriminate nature of the destruction saw some houses reduced to piles of splintered timber and smashed roof tiles while neighboring homes were left standing.

"I felt strong shaking at first, then I was thrown about like I was in a washing machine," said a Tokai University student who remains isolated in the village of Minamiaso.

About 422,000 households were without water and 100,000 without electricity, the government said.

NHK said around 240,000 people had received evacuation orders across the affected region amid fears of landslides.

Troops set up tents for evacuees and water trucks were being sent to the area while television footage showed people stranded after the fall of a bridge being rescued by helicopters.

The National Police Agency said 32 people had been confirmed dead in Saturday's quake. The government said about 190 of those injured were in a serious condition.

RELATED: Crews rescue baby from the rubble

5 PHOTOS
Japan Earthquake: Baby rescue
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2nd deadly quake hits Japan, 'race against time' to find survivors
An eight-month-old baby (C) is carried away by rescue workers after being rescued from her collapsed home caused by an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, April 15, 2016 early morning, in this handout video image provided by Kumamoto Prefectural Police. REUTERS/Kumamoto Prefectural Police/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT.
An eight-month-old baby (C) is carried away by rescue workers after being rescued from her collapsed home caused by an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, April 15, 2016 early morning, in this handout video image provided by Kumamoto Prefectural Police. REUTERS/Kumamoto Prefectural Police/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT.
An eight-month-old baby is carried away by a rescue worker after being rescued from her collapsed home caused by an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, April 15, 2016 early morning, in this handout still image from a video provided by Kumamoto Prefectural Police. REUTERS/Kumamoto Prefectural Police/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT.
An eight-month-old baby is carried away by rescue workers after being rescued from her collapsed home caused by an earthquake in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Mainichi Shimbun April 15, 2016 early morning. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Daisuke Wada/Mainichi Shimbun via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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"RING OF FIRE"

On the other side of the Pacific, Ecuador was also struggling with the aftermath of a major 7.8 quake which hit on Saturday, killing at least 28 people and sparking a tsunami warning.

Both Japan and Ecuador are on the seismically active "ring of fire" around the Pacific Ocean.

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

The epicenter of Saturday's quake was near the city of Kumamoto and measured at a shallow depth of 10 km (six miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. The shallower a quake, the more likely it is to cause damage.

The city's 400-year-old Kumamoto Castle was badly damaged, with its walls breached after having withstood bombardment and fire in its four centuries of existence.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, speaking at a G20 event in Washington, said it was too early to assess the economic impact but bank operations in Kumamoto were normal.

The USGS estimated there was a 72 percent likelihood of economic damage exceeding $10 billion, adding that it was too early to be specific. Major insurers are yet to release estimates.

Electronics giant Sony said a plant producing image sensors for smartphone makers would remain closed while it assessed the damage from the quakes. One of its major customers is Apple which uses the sensors in iPhones.

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

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