Several earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 struck during the night of Thursday to Friday the Kyushu island and the region of Kumamoto, in the southwest of the archipelago, where several nuclear power plants are located. No reactors were damaged, according to the operators.
The provisional estimate is at least nine deaths and 860 wounded persons, among whom 53 seriously, announced on Friday morning the Government’s Spokesman, Yoshihido Suga. 350 servicemen were sent on the scene to participate in the rescues.
The first earthquake arose on Thursday 14th at 9:26 am local time. It was followed by a very large number of secondary shocks. Earthquakes were felt on the surface by the inhabitants from the region of Kumamoto to Tokyo, on thousand kilometers in the North of the region of Kyushu. According to the television channel NHK, the shocks were very strong, even stronger than March 11th, 2011.
Two nuclear reactors, both of them in service in Japan, are situated in the affected territories, but the electricity company of the region, Kyushu Electric Power, assured that no anomaly had been found.
Japan is situated in the junction of four tectonic plates and undergoes every year more than 20 % of the strongest earthquakes listed in the world.
Daphné Rihouet, IEJ 1bis