By Dana S. Mar
The North American Post
On April 14 at 9:26 p.m., Kumamoto in Kyushu experienced a magnitude 6.2 earthquake foreshock and then, on Saturday, April 16, a 7.0 magnitude main quake at 1:25 a.m.
Citizens and tourists trapped in the Kumamoto area have felt hundreds of aftershocks, some of which can be found video-recorded on Twitter and YouTube. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, a few domestic flights to Kumamoto Airport are still in operation, but all departing and all international flights to and from the airport have been cancelled.
More information on railways, expressways and other modes of transportation can be found at <www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.html>.
Over 3,000 people have been reported injured and, as of most recent news on Monday, 41 dead. Citizens are advised to be careful as aftershocks ranging from magnitude 3 to 5 continue to occur, particularly with rain in the forecast, which could create even greater problems in conjunction with the tremors.
According to those who have contact with residents in Kumamoto, conditions of roads and bridges, some of which are almost entirely buckled, are making it difficult to send supplies out to those who need them. While supplies appear sufficient in shelters and there are reports of running water and electricity in Kumamoto City, communities and individuals still living in their houses are finding it difficult to obtain necessities. Many who fear sleeping in their potentially unstable homes while the aftershocks continue have taken to sleeping in their cars. However, according to one source, over twenty individuals–one of whom has died–have been diagnosed with “economy class syndrome” as a result.
The three initial earthquakes have been the largest since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Relief efforts, including activities in Seattle, and rescues are still being made. More information can be found on page 1. In the meantime, we pray for the safety of Kumamoto and its people.