UPDATE: 11:20 p.m. EDT -- At least 13 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in an earthquake early Saturday in Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan's NHK News reported.

Meanwhile, a small eruption occurred at Mount Aso in southern Japan around 8:30 a.m. local time, with emissions rising about 300 feet in the air, Britain's Daily Mail reported.

UPDATE: 8:55 p.m. EDT — The two earthquakes that struck within 24 hours have caused widespread damage in the southern Japanese region of Kumamoto, and the confirmed death toll has been raised from nine to 11, the Japan Times reported.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said approximately 80 people remained trapped under rubble after a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck first, followed by a magnitude-7.3 quake early Saturday. “We are making every effort to respond,” Suga said. Approximately 15,000 Japanese troops along with police and rescue workers were being sent to the area.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said damage from the two earthquakes was likely to cover a wide area.

UPDATE: 6 p.m. EDT — A second earthquake, of magnitude 7.3, struck Japan less than 24 hours after a smaller magnitude-6.5 quake hit the same southern region of Kumamoto.

It remained unclear if the latest earthquake would increase the death toll from nine. Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 66 people were trapped in a nursing home in the town of Mashiki and rescue efforts were underway.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said damage from the two earthquakes would likely be “extensive.” Video from Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a major landslide following the earthquake.

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The United States said Friday that it was ready to assist Japan if any requests for aid are made. “Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to everybody affected by the earthquake, the second one as well. We're watching this as closely as we can,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said, the Hill reported

UPDATE: 3:35 p.m. EDT — At least 10 people were trapped under debris Saturday local time in Japan after a magnitude-7.3 earthquake, NHK reported. Fires burned and buildings continued to collapse across Kumamoto as the Japan Meteorological Agency gave a news conference announcing a new theory that Thursday's magnitude-6.5 temblor was a foreshock to Saturday's quake.


Watch a local TV news station's live stream here:

UPDATE: 2:50 p.m. EDT — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters there was widespread damage after a strong earthquake hit the country early Saturday local time. "We will do our best to understand the situation and damage we cited," he said, adding that he planned to keep the public updated on rescue efforts.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency revised its reading of the temblor's magnitude to 7.3, NHK reported. Twitter users have compared it to the Great Hanshin earthquake that rocked Japan in 1995, killing more than 5,000 people.


UPDATE: 2:27 p.m. EDT — A major highway in Kyushu was shut down after a magnitude-7.1 earthquake rocked the Kumamoto prefecture early Saturday local time, Asahi Shimbun reported. The number of injuries was still unclear.

A hospital in Kumamoto City was considering evacuating all its patients due to risk of collapse, and thousands were without power, NHK reported


UPDATE: 1:51 p.m. EDT — Another earthquake struck Japan's Kumamoto prefecture early Saturday local time, leading to a brief tsunami advisory and additional property damage across the area as aftershocks continued. The shaking lasted about 30 seconds, according to Asahi Shimbun.

 NHK reported that two buildings had been destroyed in Mifune. Other reports of damage and theories about the extreme weather continued to spread on Twitter:


UPDATE: 1:27 p.m. EDT — The magnitude-7.1 earthquake that rocked Japan early Saturday local time resulted in higher-than-normal waves but no tsunamis, the Associated Press reported. NHK reported that at least six people were trapped under rubble.

"I'm watching the news. I can't sleep in fear and pain," wrote Twitter user moyoyo224. "I want to return to normal."

The United States Geological Survey showed that at least two major quakes had occurred since the temblor, which itself followed a major Thursday earthquake that killed nine people.

In Mashiki early Saturday, piles of relief supplies delivered by soldiers collapsed when the tremors started, according to the Asahi Shimbun. InterFM897 reported the Saturday quake had further damaged Kumamoto Castle, which was cracked by the shaking earlier in the week.


UPDATE: 1:14 p.m. EDT — There was no threat to Hawaii after a magnitude-7.1 earthquake earthquake struck Japan and prompted a tsunami advisory. The American National Weather Service issued an alert saying: "Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected."

The tsunami advisory from Japan was lifted shortly after the statement went out.


Original story:

A magnitude-7.1 earthquake shook the Japan prefecture of Kumamoto early Saturday local time, according to the country's meteorological agency. The temblor, which occurred at about 12:25 p.m. EDT Friday, followed a magnitude-6.5 quake Thursday and caused officials to issue a tsunami advisory.

"A marine threat is present. Get out of the water and leave coastal regions immediately," the agency wrote in its alert. "Due to the risk of ongoing strong currents, do not enter the sea or approach coastal regions until the advisory is lifted."

Any waves were expected to be shorter than 1 meter, or about 3 feet, NHK reported.

Residents immediately began tweeting about the quake and sharing photos of the damage: