On the 14th at around 9:26 pm, a level 7 earthquake struck Kumamoto prefecture. This article will report the sequence of events, present condition, predictions for hereafter, as well as provide a means of gathering further information.
Since the 14th, earthquakes are continuing in the central Kyushu prefectures of Kumamoto and Oita. Currently, there have been no reports of damage in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hokkaido and other areas in Japan. And unlike the great earthquake of east Japan, there are no tsunami warnings nor any damage to nuclear power plants.
As for the details of the situation, in Kumamoto on the night of April 14th, violent tremors occurred on a level 7, thereafter, on the 16th, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures experienced intense tremors over and under level 6, resulting in the observation of an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 on the Japanese earthquake scale.
After that, a series of large earthquakes occurred in succession, and on the 18th around 8:41 pm, the area of Aso city in Kumamoto was the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. Aso and Ubuyama, as well as Oita prefecture’s Taketa city, experienced tremors of a strength of 5 while Minamiaso and Takamori in Kumamoto had tremors less than 5. While Kumamoto and Oita continued to experiences earthquakes large on the scale, it was reported that on the night of the 18th, a level 5 earthquake had occurred.
In Kumamoto and Oita from the night of April 14th until 9 am on the 19th, it was reported that there was one earthquake of level 7 strength, three of level 6, two of level 5, six of a strength less than 5, 72 of level 4, thus giving official notice of 87 earthquakes over level 4. There have been over 599 earthquakes over level 1.
As of April 17th, there were 42 deaths reported and 7 people missing. The police and Japanese Self Defense Force have already entered the area and are continuing to provide supplies and take action in searching for people. 1063 people have been injured in Kumamoto and Oita (of those, 205 were severely injured) and around 200,000 people have been evacuated. Damages have befallen 2442 residences, but there is no danger of tsunamis or nuclear power plant damage.
The number of aftershocks in Kyushu is decreasing, however, it is still necessary to pay attention to continuing news. If you have plans to visit Kyushu during your stay in Japan, it would be best to postpone them for the present. Currently, areas for sightseeing such as Kyoto, Tokyo and Hokkaido and any other areas outside of the Kyushu region are unaffected, but those staying in Japan should be sure to look out for any news.
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is providing general updates, as well as information with regard to transportation in and out of the Kyushu area and any closure of sightseeing spots here.
JNTO also has a page for their Tourist Information Center.
Finally, JNTO provides information about their smartphone app, Safety Tips, which provides warnings and information about natural disasters.
There has been a great deal of damage, but counter-measures have already been taken and the outbreak of aftershocks is decreasing. Those currently staying in Japan should not worry too much, however please use the above websites and other sources to carefully gather information.
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