UPDATE: 12:37 p.m. EDT — At least two people have died from injuries suffered in a massive earthquake Thursday in Kumamoto, Japan, according to a report from from a local news outlet. The number of people hospitalized has reportedly ballooned from dozens to more than 100.
One of the reported fatal victims was taken to Kumamoto Red Cross Hospital, where at least nine of the about 90 people admitted were in critical condition, according to a tweet from another local news outlet. At least 20 others were taken to Kumamoto Central Hospital and at least 10 people were taken to Kumamoto City Hospital. More than 1,200 people have been evacuated.
In addition to the multiple buildings that collapsed in the aftermath, at least 19 homes collapsed, as well, CNN reported.
UPDATE: 11:38 a.m. EDT — A new earthquake separate from the one that hit western Japan earlier Thursday has reportedly struck the country. The U.S. Geological Survey reported it was a magnitude 6.4 earthquake, but it was immediately unclear where exactly in Japan it took place.
At least one person took to Twitter in an apparent confirmation of the report.
Felt another earthquake. Feels like the whole country is shaking now
— Marika K (@mar_kishy118) April 14, 2016
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 14, 2016
UPDATE: 10:56 a.m. EDT — Dozens of people injured in Thursday night’s earthquake in western Japan were hospitalized. About 40 people were taken for emergency medical services in the city of Kumamoto where the magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck, Reuters reported. An undetermined number of those hurt were reported in critical condition.
Local media estimated around 16,000 homes in Kumamoto lost electricity and 38,000 were without gas.
Meanwhile Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe delivered public comments about the earthquake and could be seen wearing heavy, protective clothing, presumably to ward off any chance of radiation from any of the three nearby nuclear power plants.
炎天下でも５キロを超える重い防護服は欠かせなかった。東京電力福島第一原発で高濃度汚染水を取り除く作業は、前人未踏の廃炉作業の最前線にありました。 皆様には、引き続き、安全第一で、次の作業に頑張っていただきたいと思います。 pic.twitter.com/Liubup6IPs
— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) April 14, 2016
At least one aftershock has been reported, but there were no immediate reports of any deaths.
— EmgWatch Earthquakes (@emgw_earthquake) April 14, 2016
UPDATE: 10:23 a.m. EDT — Nuclear power plants near where a massive earthquake struck Thursday night in Kumamoto, Japan, were not immediately affected by the natural disaster, Reuters reported. There are three nuclear plants on both the island of Kyushu, where Kumamoto is located, and Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's major islands.
A little more than five years ago, an earthquake struck Japan, generating a tsunami that caused a nuclear accident in Fukushima that leaked high levels of radiation. Local authorities have said there is no immediate indication of something similar taking place this time.
In the meantime, some video footage has emerged on social media to show the effects of the country’s latest earthquake.
— Jonathan Oh (@johontv) April 14, 2016
— Seismoblogs (@seismoblogs) April 14, 2016
UPDATE: 10:03 a.m. EDT — An earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6 has caused at least 10 buildings to collapse Thursday in Kumamoto, Japan, NHK reported. People were also trapped under building debris.
Officials have said there’s no risk of tsunamis.
— Joseph Tame (@tamegoeswild) April 14, 2016
— ハットのかずや (@39nokareshi) April 14, 2016
Japan's NHK showing emergency response to 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Kumamoto. Ten buildings reported collapsed pic.twitter.com/QYacTjYx7X
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) April 14, 2016
UPDATE: 9:55 a.m. EDT — The United States Geological Survey had already recorded at least three aftershocks Thursday morning following a magnitude-6.2 earthquake that occurred at about 9:30 p.m., local time. Its map showed a magnitude-4.8 quake 1 kilometer west of Uto, a magnitude-5.4 temblor east of Kumamoto and a magnitude-4.8 quake in Kyushu.
Reported fires across East Kumamoto. pic.twitter.com/xaQDpTXXxu
— Weather Mizumoto (@hepomodeler) April 14, 2016
Video from Japan's NHK shows moment M6.4 quake struck Kumamoto at 9:26pm local time. pic.twitter.com/nx5bRflgHh
— Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) April 14, 2016
Users on social media Thursday posted about fires, power outages and stopped trains in Japan after an earthquake of at least magnitude 6 hit the country’s Kumamoto prefecture. The Japanese fire and disaster management agency published a news release assuring people there was no danger of a tsunami as a result of the quake, though Asahi Shimbun quoted a seismologist who said the nation could experience aftershocks.
“Please stay safe. Be careful near fences and cliffs and in homes, and also note that there could be falling debris,” the cabinet office of disaster management wrote on Twitter.
Police told the Japan Times they did not yet know how much damage or how many deaths the earthquake had caused.
— トマト大好き (@tmato30kcal) April 14, 2016
— ゆう (@vippunipuni) April 14, 2016
— しゅんすけ@Naparm (@sf_ze) April 14, 2016
UPDATE: 9:25 a.m. EDT — As reports and photos rolled in Thursday morning of an earthquake in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters he was assessing the damage.
“We intend to do the utmost to grasp the situation,” Abe said, according to Reuters.
The temblor, which was at least a magnitude 6 on the Richter scale, occurred at about 9:30 p.m. local time, the Associated Press reported. Japan’s meteorological agency said it did not think there would be tsunamis as a result.
— 植野やむい@絵描き (@PNxYM) April 14, 2016
— 松本直貴 #7 (@NaoV0o0v) April 14, 2016
No casualties reported yet as large earthquake hits Kyushu in Japan. Nightmare for those working in supermarkets. pic.twitter.com/AcGSs3SNCV
— Ollie Trenchard (@OllieTrenchard) April 14, 2016
An earthquake with a magnitude of more than 6 rocked the western end of Japan late Thursday, local time, according to preliminary reports. The earthquake struck in Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu with a magnitude 6.4, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported. The U.S. Geological Survey registered the magnitude at 6.2.
Japan earthquake - Intensity 7 in Kumamoto, south west Japan. That's very strong, maximum intensity on scale. pic.twitter.com/9VfDomjVNO
— Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) April 14, 2016
There were no immediate reports of deaths or damages, but the subsequent tremors were reminiscent of past earthquakes, Channel News Asia reported.
The news comes a little more than a week after another earthquake hit both central and western Japan, the Associated Press reported.