Japan has deployed more than 25,000 soldiers from its Self-Defence Force, together with police, firefighters and medics to continue the search for survivors, after a another earthquake struck on Saturday, 16 April. It came as the death toll from the 7.3 magnitude quake which hit southern Japan's Kyushu Island on Thursday, 14 April, reached 32, with 1,000 people injured and 11 still missing.
A red alert evacuation notice has been issued in Ozu – one step down from a mandatory evacuation – with people strongly advised to leave their homes. Troops were delivering water to a long line of people waiting for fresh supplies. A total of 422,000 households in this region do not have water.
Police received reports of 97 cases of people being buried or trapped under collapsed buildings, while 10 people were caught in landslides, according to Kyodo news agency. Search conditions were hampered in the Kumamoto region of southern Japan, the worst-affected area, by severe weather conditions of fierce gales and torrential rain.
The Japanese military forces are attempting to clear routes through roads, with tunnels and bridges collapsed and damaged, according to the Weather Channel. The US has said it will provide aerial support for Japan's relief efforts. The US military has several large air force, navy and marine bases in Japan, with around 50,000 troops in the country.
"I don't think we can go back there. Our life is in limbo," 62-year-old evacuee Yoshiaki Tanaka told the Associated Press. Tanaka, his wife and his 85-year-old mother fled their home after Saturday's quake. Damage to the terminal building of Kumamoto Airport has led to the cancellation of many flights on Sunday, NHK reports.
The historic Aso Shrine was also damaged during the second quake and a large structure known as the CherryBlossom Gate collapsed.
The earthquake also triggered an eruption on Japan's Mount Aso on Saturday, Channel NewsAsia reported. The eruption happened at 8.30am local time, with white smoke seen rising about 100m into the air. The Japanese Meteorological Agency has issued an alert level at 2 on a scale of 5 for the volcano, which has previously erupted.