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New powerful earthquake scatters residents in Japan and collapses buildings

Kumamoto city hit after earlier earthquake struck Mashiki suburb

The historic Kumamoto Castle was damaged during the earthquake.  Credit  <a href="https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/user:663highland">663highland</a>

The historic Kumamoto Castle, shown here, was damaged during the earthquake. Credit 663highland

After an earlier quake killed nine and injured close to a thousand, a new powerful 7.3 magnitude quake struck half a mile from the city of Kumamoto in southwest Japan in the middle of the night.

The quake scattered residents into the streets for safety after an apartment building collapsed in the town of Mashiki during the earlier 6.2 quake trapping and killing some residents inside. Evacuated residents spent the night outside in parks outside and in shelters.

The Sendai Nuclear Power plant, 60 miles from Kumamoto, was undamaged according to Japan’s nuclear authority.

John Vidale, a seismologist at the University of Washington in Seattle said that it is rare for such a larger earthquake to follow one of smaller magnitude.

International Business Times has stunning photos of the damage.

Japanese state broadcaster NHK reported major cracks in highways and the derailment of a bullet train with no injuries.

Kyodo news agency reported that more strong tremors could be expected in the coming days, which will add to the fear many residents are experiencing as parts of Japan still recover from the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that killed over 15,000 with over 2,000 still missing.

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