At least nine people were dead and more than 1,000 injured Friday as Japan began to recover from a devastating earthquake that hit the island of Kyushu the day before. Several towns were still without water and power after the Thursday temblor, which the United States Geological Survey measured at magnitude-6.2 but the Japanese Meteorological Agency put at 6.5. Rescue efforts were further complicated by the more than 120 aftershocks had rocked the area as of Friday morning, the Japan Times reported.
And they weren't over.
"This is an earthquake that is going to shake for a long time," meteorologist Chad Myers told CNN, adding that the aftershocks predicted through next week could make the property damage even worse. "The buildings that were damaged in the original shock have now been re-damaged or re-shaken. And all of a sudden you have a cracked building, and it wants to fall down with the second shake."
Sony, Toyota, Fujifilm and Mitsubishi Electric were among the firms that shut down Friday to assess damage and conduct safety checks of their plants. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported more than 1,600 soldiers had been deployed to help residents, delivering items like adult diapers and blankets to shelters. Large groups of people were afraid to leave.
“My husband returned to our house to see how things looked, and he says there isn’t room to stand because of the mess caused," the Guardian reported Kumamoto resident Junko Seto said. “I want to go home and get things in order, but with the aftershocks, I am too scared to go home yet.”
The hardest-hit regions included Mashiki, a city with more than 32,600 people, according to the AP. The earthquake had such an impact because its focus was so close to the surface. However, there was no risk of a tsunami.
Thursday's temblor was the strongest since a 2011 quake in east Japan that killed more than 15,000 people, the Asahi Shimbun reported.