Deadly Quake in Kumamoto caused by multiple aftershocks that continue to shake the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan, which left at least 41 dead in the night from Friday to Saturday, according to a new report, the landslide swept away a railway track and a road. The big bridge Aso is no more. The tunnel Tawarayama between Minamiaso and the village of Nishihara collapsed. A bridge 200 meters collapsed, roads cracked or gutted. The airport was closed due to the terminal's ceiling fell. The earthquake and its aftershocks repeatedly have also triggered a massive mudslide and stones in Minami-Aso area, carrying away houses and cutting off a highway.
The series began with a magnitude 6.5 earthquake, which was followed by the dozens of aftershocks. The night of Friday 15 to Saturday 16 was marked by a new powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.3. Also, it was followed by aftershocks merging at a high rate, one every 10 minutes. A tsunami warning was issued after the earthquake by the Japan Meteorological Agency in Yatsushiro Seas and Ariake, the names given to two bays Kumamoto.
The intense seismic activity that continues to be the source of a vapor release at Mount Aso, one of the active volcanoes of Japan, observed on Saturday morning.
The 7.3 magnitude earthquake is probably the main shock, analyzed Gen Aoki, director of seismology department at the meteorology agency. The Thursday night was a precursor.
Mr. Aoki has also fearing new powerful tremors in the affected departments already Kumamoto and Oita. Concerns are even higher than, in the meteorology agency, heavy rains - up to 150 mm, the equivalent of a normal month - are expected in the night from Saturday to Sunday, making fear landslides in this region now fragile soils.
The human toll is expected to rise. At Minamiaso, a small building called Green Heights belonging to the Tokai University of Tokyo and home collapsed students. Several occupants were trapped in the debris. There were not any abnormalities at nuclear reactors.
On Thursday evening government has set up on and declared a state of natural disaster. Mr. Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister) said to act quickly to save lives. Mr. Prime Minister also canceled his visit to the area and convened a crisis council. The government also sent to the site 20,000 men and 1,000 rescue workers and more firefighters and other local stakeholders. Rescue teams were engaged in the search for survivors in the affected areas.
The work of rescue is complicated by damage to the road infrastructure. The sequence of aftershocks also hinders the search of the rubble. Some municipalities are beginning to miss food. A Mashiki, the most affected by the earthquake city Thursday night, the parking of the Town Hall became a center of food distribution and water. In the disaster-stricken areas, more than 180,000 households have no electricity and about 200,000 with access to water.
Nuclear power plants in the region would not be affected. The Kyushu Electric Power Company (Kyuden) assured that the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Kumamoto, worked fine. The two reactors of this plant are the only service in the park nuclear Japanese.
But Saturday morning, mobile networks were not working. The Kumamoto airport was damaged, the air traffic was halted for the day Saturday. The movement of Shinkansen high-speed trains has been suspended since the evening of 14 April.
Why do Earthquakes Happen?
The Earth’s crust is like a jigsaw puzzle of continental and oceanic plates ant that plates are constantly ramming each other, pulling apart, or sliding past each other. Why is there an earthquake? Earthquake occurs because there is motion of the earth’s outer surface. There are two main causes of earthquakes.
Firstly, they can be due to explosive volcanic eruptions. In fact, they are very common in regions of volcanic activity where the either proceed or accompany eruptions.
Secondly, Earthquakes can be triggered by the movement of the Tectonic plates with plate margins and faults. The majority of earthquakes across the world are of this type.