Two major earthquakes have left Japan in a state of distress this weekend. As of Saturday morning, at least 41 people were dead and over 1,500 were injured in the deadly disaster.
Japanese media reported that nearly 200,000 homes were without electricity, and that drinking water systems had also failed in the area. TV video showed people huddled in blankets, sitting or lying shoulder-to-shoulder on the floors of evacuation centres. An estimated 400,000 households were without running water.
Hundreds of people lined up for rations at shelters before nightfall, bracing for the rainfall and strong winds.
Local residents wait in line for rations of cooked rice at a distribution center in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan, Saturday, April 16, 2016.
(AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
Landslides have already cut off roads and destroyed bridges, slowing down rescuers.
Police received reports of 97 cases of people trapped or buried under collapsed buildings.
Kyushu island’s Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan, erupted for the first time in a month, sending smoke rising about 100 metres (328 feet) into the air, but no damage was reported. It was not immediately clear whether there was a link between the quakes and the eruption.
The picture shows an aerial of the largest active volcano in Japan, Mount Aso, in Aso, Kumamoto prefecture on April 16, 2016.
Historical and tourist attractions were also damaged in the quake, including the Aso Shrine, and the “cherry blossom gate.”