A second strong earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan, trapped a group of 20 Chinese tourists in a hotel near Mount Aso. Rescue efforts are underway.
The initial quake killed at least 29 people and injured 1,500 with the death toll rising. Many victims are trapped and many others’ home have been, sending thousands of residents to seek refuge in gymnasiums and hotel lobbies.
The exact number of casualties remained unclear as rescue efforts continued to unfold Saturday. Oncoming rains could further complicate the relief operation and set off more mudslides in isolated rural towns where people are waiting to be rescued in collapsed homes.
One massive landslide tore open a mountainside in Minamiaso village in Kunamato Prefecture all the way from the top to a highway below. Another gnawed at a highway, collapsing a house that fell down a ravine and smashed at the bottom. In another part of the village, houses were left hanging precariously at the edge of a huge hole cut open in the earth.
Suga told reporters the number of troops in the area was being raised to 20,000 for rescue efforts, while additional police and firefighters were also on the way.