At least nine dead, 760 hospitalized after magnitude 6.5 quake hits Japan

MOSCOW — At least nine people were killed in Japan when a 6.5-magnitude earthquake occurred near the city of Kumamoto in the south of the country, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Over 760 people were hospitalized after the earthquake, according to Suga.

“After the earthquake in Kumamoto 14,000 families were left without electricity,” the chief cabinet secretary said, adding that 20,000 families were left without water and 6,000 families — without gas.

ABC said on Thursday that at least 19 houses collapsed and more than 780 people were injured because of the quake.

According to Japan Today, eight people were reported to be missing.

The NHK broadcaster said that over 44,000 people were evacuated.

Earlier, the Kyodo news agency reported that at least three people died because of the quake.

No tsunami warning was issued after the earthquake and no abnormalities were detected at nuclear power plants in the country.

The earthquake struck to the east of Kumamoto city (the capital of Kumamoto Prefecture) on Japan’s Kyushu Island at 12:26 GMT.

According to Japanese meteorologists, it was followed by over 100 aftershocks, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 and one with a 5.7 magnitude.

In March 2011, Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a 46-foot tsunami, triggered by a 9.0-magnitude offshore earthquake. The accident is considered to be the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. PNA/Sputnik/