Japan Rocked by Mag-6.7 Earthquake, Landslide Traps People In Homes

A POWERFUL earthquake has rocked the city of Sapporo in northern Japan just hours after large parts of the south of the country were battered by the biggest typhoon to hit in 25 years. The Magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Local government officials are reporting that an 82-year-old man has died after falling down the stairs in his home during the earthquake.

The tremor triggered a landslide which covered homes in the rural town of Atsumi trapping residents inside. People in Sapporo were woken up by strong shaking shortly after 7 pm BST (3 am Thursday local time) as the earth moved for around 20 seconds. Japanese TV showed damaged buildings and quoted police as saying some people had been trapped in collapsed structures.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said officials have set up a command centre to coordinate rescue efforts. At least 10 people have been taken to hospital after being injured in the quake. There was also a 5.4 magnitude aftershock which hit Hokkaido island shortly after the main earthquake. The tremor struck at an approximate depth of 20 miles, USGS data said. No tsunami warning has been issued following the earthquake, which was initially reported as a Magnitude 7.0.

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