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Japan Twin Earthquakes: 41 Dead, 11 Missing, 180,000 People in Shelters

Japanese authorities announced that 41 people were dead, 11 were missing and over 180,000 were in shelters after two earthquakes struck the southern region of the country.

Previously, the death toll was reported at 29. Two earthquakes had shook the southern Japanese island of Kyushu – first on Thursday had a magnitude of 6.5 and the second on Saturday measured at 7.3.

A Kumamoto prefecture official says 11 people remained missing, and Japanese media reported that eight of them were in Minamiaso, a mountainous village near Mount Aso volcano.

Rescue helicopters could be seen going into and out of the area, much of which has been cut off by landslides and road and bridge damage.

Aerial footage from Japanese TV also showed teams of rescuers going through small clusters of destroyed homes and other buildings.

Japanese media said the number of people taking shelter after the earthquakes doubled to more than 180,000.

Kyodo news service, citing the Kumamoto prefecture government, said 183,882 people were in shelters in the prefecture on Sunday morning. On Saturday, there were around 90,000 people.

Many others slept in their cars or sheltered under tarps and other protection overnight.

About 80,000 homes in Kumamoto prefecture still didn’t have electricity on Sunday. Japanese media reported that an estimated 400,000 households were without running water.

The U.S. military said it was preparing to provide relief flights to the affected areas in southern Japan. The U.S. has major Air Force, Navy and Marine bases in Japan, and stations about 50,000 troops in the country.

Lt. Gen. John Dolan, the commander of U.S. Forces, Japan, said, “We are working closely with the government of Japan to provide assistance and support.”

 

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