2016 Kumamoto earthquakes

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2016 Kumamoto earthquakes
2016 Kumamoto earthquakes is located in Japan
2016 Kumamoto earthquakes
2016 Kumamoto earthquakes is located in Kyushu
2016 Kumamoto earthquakes
UTC time??
ISC event
Date *April 14, 2016 (2016-04-14)[1]
Origin time *21:26:38.7 (JST, first detected)[2]
Local date
Local time
Depth11 km (6.8 mi)[1]
Epicenter32°50.94′N 130°38.10′E / 32.84900°N 130.63500°E / 32.84900; 130.63500[3]
Areas affectedKumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan[1]
Casualties20 killed, ~1,880 injured
Deprecated See documentation.

An earthquake of 7.0 moment magnitude[3] occurred at 01:25 JST,[a] April 16, 2016, around the city of Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, Japan, at a depth of about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi).[5] This was preceded by a foreshock earthquake of magnitude 6.2 at 21:26 JST[b] on April 14, 2016, at a depth of about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi).[1]

Collectively, the earthquakes killed at least 20 people and injured approximately 1,880 others. Severe damage occurred in and around Kumamoto, with numerous structures collapsing or catching fire. More than 44,000 people evacuated from the region due to the disaster.

April 14 earthquake

Although the epicenter of the earthquake occurred 12.0 kilometres (7.5 mi) north-northwest from Kumamoto's city center, the worst-hit area was in the eastern Kumamoto suburb of Mashiki, where eight of the earthquake's nine victims perished.[6] It is the first earthquake to occur on the island of Kyushu to register as a 7 on the Japan Meteorological Agency's (JMA) seismic intensity scale.[7]—the same level as the Great Tohoku Earthquake in March 2011 which devastated parts of eastern Japan. Furthermore, it was the first earthquake on record in Kyushu to register a 7 on the JMA scale.[8] In the following hours, there were at least 11 aftershocks of at least 4.5 magnitude, one of which was a 6;[9] more than 140 aftershocks were registered within two days.[10] The earthquake was strongly felt as far north as Shimonoseki on Honshu, and as far south as Kirishima, Kagoshima.[11]

At least 9 people lost their lives and approximately 1,000 more were injured.[10] Kumamoto Castle sustained damage to its exterior walls and roof because of the earthquake and its aftershocks.[12] The castle's shachihoko were destroyed.[13] Numerous structures collapsed or caught fire as a result of the earthquake. Numerous landslides took place across the mountains of Kyushu, rendering roads impassible; a bullet train was also derailed.[14] A 500-bed hospital in Kumamoto largely collapsed, forcing the evacuation of all patients.[10] A natural gas leak prompted Saibu Gas to turn off supplies to multiple homes in Kumamoto.[8]

By April 16, more than 44,000 people were evacuated from the hardest-hit areas.[14] Service on the Kyushu Shinkansen was suspended after a train derailed due to the earthquake.[15] Prime Minister Shinzō Abe mobilized 3,000 personnel of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to assist local authorities with search and rescue and recovery efforts.[14]

April 16 earthquake

United States Geological Survey shake map for the April 16 earthquake; a maximum Mercalli intensity scale value of 8.8 was observed just east of Kumamoto City.[16]

At 1:25 a.m. JST on April 16 (16:25 UTC, April 15), a 7.0 magnitude earthquake north of Kumamoto, on the island of Kyushu in southwest Japan, occurred as the result of strike-slip faulting at shallow depth.[3] Significant damage occurred in areas recovering from the April 14 earthquake, with significantly strong tremors also recorded as far east as Beppu City, Oita Prefecture[17]. A tsunami advisory was issued for areas along the Ariake Sea and Yatsushiro Sea, with the wave height forecast at 0.2 to 1 m (0.66 to 3.28 ft).[14] Around 8:30 a.m. local time, Mount Aso saw a small-scale eruption with ash billowing 100 m (330 ft) into the air; it is unclear if the eruption is related to the earthquake or not.[18]

At least 11 people were killed and more than 880 others were injured.[19] Police received more than 300 calls in Kumamoto and 100 from Ōita from residents seeking help; many involved people trapped under rubble.[20] An additional 1,600 soldiers from the Japan Self-Defense Forces joined relief efforts following the earthquake.[21] The entire city of Kumamoto city was left without water.[22] All residents of Nishihara, Kumamoto, were evacuated over fears that a nearby dam could collapse.[22]


Kumamoto lies at the southern end of Japan's Median Tectonic Line, Japan's longest, where it splits into two.

See also


  1. ^ 16:25 UTC
  2. ^ 12:26 UTC
  1. ^ a b c d "平成28年4月14日21時26分頃の熊本県熊本地方の地震について" [About the earthquake in the Kumamoto area of Kumamoto Prefecture, around 21:26, April 14, 2016]. Japan Meteorological Agency (in Japanese). 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  2. ^ "緊急地震速報の内容" [The contents of the Earthquake Early Warning]. Japan Meteorological Agency (in Japanese). 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  3. ^ a b c d "M7.0 - 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  4. ^ "M6.2 - 7km SW of Ueki, Japan". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  5. ^ "M7.0 - 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan". USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  6. ^ "At Least 9 Dead, More Than 800 Injured in Japan 6.5-Magnitude Earthquake". ABC News. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  7. ^ "More aftershocks feared after strong quake in southwestern Japan". Nikkei Asian Review. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  8. ^ a b Daisuke Kikuchi (April 15, 2016). "Kumamoto residents pick up the pieces following Kyushu's strongest quake". The Japan Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Southern Japan, Killing 2; Homes Collapse, 45 Injured".
  10. ^ a b c Doug Stanglin (April 16, 2016). "Hospital evacuated after major quake rocks Japanese island". USA Today. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "地震情報(各地の震度に関する情報)(Earthquake Information: Information on the Seismic Activity in Affected Areas)" (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  12. ^ "Quake damages roof, walls at Kumamoto Castle". Asahi Shimbun. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  13. ^ "熊本城 地震で「しゃちほこ」なくなる ("Kumamoto Castle: The Earthquake Destroys the Castle's 'Sachihako'")" (in Japanese). NHK. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  14. ^ a b c d Don Melvin, Greg Botelho, and Ray Sanchez (April 16, 2016). "7.0 quake strikes Japan; rescuers try to free residents". CNN. Retrieved April 16, 2016.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Aftershocks rattle southwestern Japan after quake kills nine". Reuters. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  16. ^ "M7.0 - 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, Japan: Shake Map". United States Geological Survey. April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  17. ^ M5.1 - 8km W of Beppu, Japan http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20005iu4#general Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  18. ^ "Small eruption seen on Mount Aso after latest quakes". The Japan Times. Reuters. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  19. ^ "Second strong quake rocks Kumamoto area, killing at least 11". The Japan Times. Reuters, Agence-France Presse, Jiji Press. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  20. ^ "Reports of people trapped after magnitude-7.3 quake hits southern Japan". Fox News. Associated Press. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  21. ^ Caroline Mortimer (April 16, 2016). "Japan earthquake: Tsunami alert after 7.3 tremor his south of country – 24 hours after 10 died in separate quake". The Independent. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "2nd Japanese earthquake leaves at least 3 dead, 400 injured". CBC News. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.