Japan earthquake
Rescue workers carry an eight-month-old baby from her collapsed house in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefectureREUTERS/Daisuke Wada/Mainichi Shimbun via Reuters

A city in south Japan was blanketed with a layer of foam after severe tremors shook the region. On 15 April the city of Fukuoka was rattled by an earthquake of magnitude 7.3, just a day after a 6.5-magnitude quake in the same area and by 16 April, roads of the downtown Tenjin and Imaizumi areas of the city were coated in a mysterious foamy substance.

People from localities where the foam appeared posted images on Twitter speculating on the reason behind the oddity. Some presume that a water pipe may have burst as a result of the tremors while others believe it may have been a spillage of fire-fighting foam. However, no fire trucks were spotted in the area.

While the damage to Fukuoka was minimal, other areas were severely affected by the multiple quakes. According to Asia Times, more than 41 people were killed and at least 1,500 others injured. Bridges and buildings collapsed in Kumamoto, Aso and the Oita district where another smaller quake of magnitude 5.3 was recorded. The tremors also triggered an eruption in Japan's largest active volcano, Mount Aso.

With the meteorological agency predicting heavy rainfall in the coming days, warnings have been issued regarding more landslides and authorities are working against time to complete rescue operations. Japan News Network reported that over 69,000 have been evacuated.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said while they were in a "race against the clock", help offered by the US military was not urgently needed. Evacuation centres are currently packed with people who were forced to abandon their houses, and with weather conditions worsening, authorities are concerned about the growing number of casualties.