ON EDGE: Tens of Thousands Evacuate Japan In Fear of Aftershocks And Volcanoes

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Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from earthquake-hit southern Japan as dozens of aftershocks struck and officials monitored nearby volcanoes for signs of activity.

A total of 44,000 people were evacuated late on Thursday in the town of Mashiki after a magnitude-6.4 earthquake collapsed buildings and damaged other infrastructure. Nine people have been confirmed dead, ranging in age from 29 to 94. A further eight are in serious condition, and more than 850 were injured.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has warned there are likely to be strong aftershocks for the next week and advised people to stay away from any buildings that look unstable.

There are also concerns about volcanic activity in the wake of the quake. The island of Kyushu, where the earthquake happened, is a highly volcanic area. A level 2 warning – meaning people should not approach a volcano’s crater – has been in place for Asosan in Kumamoto prefecture on the island since November 2015.

Rescuers dramatically pulled an eight-month old baby girl from a collapsed house in Mashiki early on Friday. Video footage provided by the National Police Agency showed the baby gently carried away in a blanket by helmeted rescuers from the rubble of the home. Read More


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