7.3 quake hits southwestern Japan, 19 confirmed dead

TOKYO — Nineteen people have been confirmed dead and nearly 1,000 injured in a second massive earthquake that rocked southwestern Japan early Saturday, local government officials said.

The latest quake was more powerful than the temblor that barely a day earlier killed nine people and left more than 1,000 injured in Kumamoto Prefecture.

The magnitude-7.3 quake at 1:25 a.m. Saturday registered upper 6 on Japan’s seismic scale of 7 in the prefecture in Kyushu, one of the country’s four main islands, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. PNA/Kyodo/ northboundasia.com