MASHIKI, Japan (CBSNewYork) — Earthquakes continued to rattle the southern region of Japan on Friday, with two powerful quakes striking in just over 24 hours.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, roads buckled, an entire hillside fell in a massive landslide, and groups of people evacuated into an open space from homes that were either destroyed or left unstable.
The powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck southern Japan in the Kumamoto region early Saturday morning. It hit barely 24 hours after a deadly quake shook the area.
On Thursday night, a magnitude 6.5 quake killed nine people and injured more than 800.
Seismologists said Thursday’s smaller quake was actually what’s known as a foreshock because it triggered the bigger one about 8 miles away.
“About five to ten percent of the time, the earthquake that’s triggered gets bigger than the first one and then we change the name and call the first one the foreshock, and the other the main shock,” Dr. Lucy Jones, Cal Tech Seismologist said.
The smaller quakes could be foreshadowing something much larger.
“It’s always possible for every earthquake that it will trigger something larger,” she said. “The space and time we are currently in is the most dangerous in that particular region.”
Crews spent much of the day walking through neighborhoods searching for any victims.
Teams dug through the rubble for six hours and rescued a baby from a collapsed home, but it is unclear how many more people could still be trapped under debris.
Seismologists said there is still a 50 percent chance of a magnitude 6 quake hitting the same area of Japan in the next few days.