Powerful Earthquake Hits Japan, Destroying at Least 19 Homes


An area of Arao, Kumamoto Prefecture, in southwestern Japan in 2013 / Kyodo via AP


A strong earthquake hit southern Japan Thursday evening, toppling at least 19 houses and potentially trapping individuals under the rubble.

The Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital told ABC News it admitted 45 injured people. Five had serious wounds. Police have not yet confirmed casualties.

The quake was measured at a preliminary magnitude of 6.4, the strongest earthquake to hit the are since 2011. No tsunami warning was issued.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told ABC that the extent of the earthquake’s damage is still unclear "because of the night darkness."

"There was a ka-boom and the whole house shook violently sideways," Takahiko Morita, a Mashiki resident, said in a phone interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK. "Furniture and bookshelves fell down, and books were all over the floor."

Local media reported that violent shaking at the epicenter lasted roughly 30 seconds.

Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson   Email Natalie | Full Bio | RSS
Natalie Johnson is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she was a news reporter at the Daily Signal. Johnson’s work has been featured in outlets such as Newsweek, Fox News and Drudge Report. She graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a B.A. in political science and journalism. She can be reached at johnson@freebeacon.com. Her twitter handle is @nataliejohnsonn.

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