Aftershocks continue to rattle south-western Japan after a strong earthquake killed at least nine people and injured more than 1,000. The area around the city of Kumamoto was hardest hit by the initial 6.4 magnitude quake. The quake struck at 9.26pm on Thursday 14 April at a depth of 11km (7miles) near Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu, the southern-most of Japan's four main islands.

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A man walks near a damaged house that has fallen on to a car in MashikiKyodo/Reuters
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An earthquake survivor rests with a pet dog at an evacuation centre in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKyodo/Reuters
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The earthquake-damaged Kyushu Expressway in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKyodo/Reuters

Among those pulled from the wreckage was an eight-month-old baby girl, wrapped in a blanket and passed hand to hand by firefighters. Several hospitals had to evacuate patients.

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An eight-month-old baby is carried away by rescue workers after being rescued from her collapsed hom in MashikiDaisuke Wada/Mainichi Shimbun via Reuters

While the magnitude of the quake was much lower than the 9.0 earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima on 11 March 2011, the intensity was similar because it struck on land and at a much shallower depth.

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A woman cries as she speaks about her collapsed house in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKazuhiro Nogi/AFP
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An injured person is carried by rescuers near a damaged house in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKyodo/Reuters
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A man walks past his collapsed house in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKazuhiro Nogi/AFP
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Construction workers repair a damaged road beside a graveyard in the town of Mashiki in Kumamoto prefectureJiji Press/AFP
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An aerial view of a derailed Kyushu shinkansen, or bullet train, in the city of Kumamoto, Kumamoto prefectureJiji Press/AFP

In the town of Mashiki, about 15km from the centre of Kumamoto city, entire buildings collapsed, roofs slid off, and windows and walls crumbled, scattering glass and debris. Huge boulder-like rocks tumbled from the walls of historic Kumamoto castle. Eight of the nine victims were from Mashiki.

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Boulders block a street in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKazuhiro Nogi/AFP
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An aerial view shows earthquake damage at Kumamoto castleJiji Press/AFP
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Local residents wrap themselves in blankets as they sit on the road after an earthquake in MashikiKyodo/Reuters
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A collapsed wall is seen in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefectureKazuhiro Nogi/AFP
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An aerial view shows damaged Kyushu highway in the city of MashikiJiji Press/AFP
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The roof of a house is left collapsed after an earthquake in MashikiTaro Karibe/Getty Images
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A wounded resident is attended to by a rescue team after an earthquake hit MashikiTaro Karibe/Getty Images
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A local resident cycles by a damaged road in MashikiTaro Karibe/Getty Images
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A damaged clock is stopped at the time of the earthquake near Mashiki town hallTaro Karibe/Getty Images
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A car that was damaged by falling masonry is seen in MashikiTaro Karibe/Getty Images
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A resident brushes his teeth outsidet his damaged beauty salon in MashikiTaro Karibe/Getty Images

Rescue workers are combing through the wreckage in hard-hit areas to make sure there are no more trapped people, said Shotaro Sakamoto, a Kumamoto prefecture official. TV broadcasters were urging residents to check on elderly people living alone who might not have been able to escape their homes unaided. Officials said the frequency of aftershocks is tapering off but the risk of further strong tremors will remain for about a week.