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Deadly Earthquake Strikes Southern Japan

A partially collapsed house is seen after southern Japan was struck with a 6.2-magnitude earthquake.
A partially collapsed house is seen after southern Japan was struck with a 6.2-magnitude earthquake.

An deadly earthquake struck southern Japan on Thursday.

At least nine people were killed and more than 700 were injured, The Associated Press reports, citing the government's chief spokesman.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Kumamoto at 9:26 p.m. local time. The organization evaluated the earthquake's damage as level red, meaning "extensive damage is probable and the disaster is likely widespread," the website said.

"The shaking was so violent I couldn't stand still," said Hironobu Kosaki of the Kumamoto Prefectural Police, according to the AP.

The news service adds that according to a Kumamoto disaster management official, "the worst damage was in the town of Mashiki, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) east of Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu."

Reuters reports that there was no tsunami warning after the tremors, but that some 16,500 homes were without power in the area.

"We will do our utmost and carry on with life-saving and rescue operations throughout the night," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, according to Reuters.

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