Japan quake kills at least nine
A strong earthquake hit southwestern Japan on Thursday, bringing down some buildings, killing at least nine people and injuring hundreds, local media said, but the nuclear regulator reported no problems at power plants, according to Reuters.
The initial magnitude 6 tremor struck 11 km (7 miles) east of the city of Kumamoto, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It said the magnitude was 6.2 but later revised it down, Reuters reports.
There was no tsunami warning, but at least one person was killed after being crushed by a collapsing building, local media reported. More than 400 people were taken to hospital.
Read alsoABC News: Strong earthquake shakes northern Japan; no tsunami warningThe Kyodo news agency said some 44,400 people had also been evacuated and more than 100 aftershocks had been recorded since the quake, which struck shortly before 9.30 pm local time.
Footage from public broadcaster NHK showed firefighters tackling a blaze in a building in Mashiki, a town of about 34,000 people near the epicenter of the quake.
"We will do our utmost and carry on with life-saving and rescue operations throughout the night," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.