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What was thought to be the strongest quake in Kyushu, registering the maximum intensity on the Japanese shindo seismic scale, turned out to be a preshock of the earthquake that rocked Kumamoto on Saturday morning. The magnitude-7.3 quake and continuous series of aftershocks triggered a number of landslides as well as the collapse and cracking of major roadways in the mountainous region of Minamiaso.

The death toll from both quakes currently stands at 41 people, with at least 11 missing.

Saturday morning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, due to the approach of heavy rain, there would be “not a moment spare,” in the rescue efforts to save people trapped in collapsed buildings and to move the survivors to evacuation centers.

Here is a selection of photos documenting the extensive damage, the rescue efforts and the difficult situation facing thousands of local residents who have had to leave their homes.

Water dislodged by a landslide pours onto a road in Kitakyushu City on April 16. The tracks of the JR Hohi Line, which runs beside the road, were also washed away.
Water dislodged by a landslide pours onto a road in Kitakyushu City on April 16. The tracks of the JR Hohi Line, which runs beside the road, were also washed away. | KYODO
Photographs of the village of Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture, taken before and after the April 16 earthquake show the damage caused by landslides.
Photographs of the village of Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture, taken before and after the April 16 earthquake show the damage caused by landslides. | KYODO
Members of rescue team and their dogs patrol the homes around Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture on Sataurday, following a series of strong earthquakes that began on April 14.
Members of rescue team and their dogs patrol the homes around Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture on Sataurday, following a series of strong earthquakes that began on April 14. | AFP-JIJI
A man clears the debris of a broken wall in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture on Saturday.
A man clears the debris of a broken wall in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture on Saturday. | AFP-JIJI
A member of a rescue team runs on a cracked street in  Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture on Saturday.
A member of a rescue team runs on a cracked street in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture on Saturday. | AFP-JIJI
Students from Tokai University receive instructions from a Self Defense Force member before being evacuated by helicopter from the village of Minamiaso, where one of their dormitories reportedly collapsed in the quake, on April 16.
Students from Tokai University receive instructions from a Self Defense Force member before being evacuated by helicopter from the village of Minamiaso, where one of their dormitories reportedly collapsed in the quake, on April 16. | KYODO
‘SOS’ written on a sportsground within the Miyaji Elementary School in Aso City, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16. | KYODO
Evacuees receive riceballs from Self Defense Force members in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Saturday.
Evacuees receive riceballs from Self Defense Force members in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Saturday. | KYODO
Women direct evacuees to queues for handouts of drinks, sweets and other foods in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16.
Women direct evacuees to queues for handouts of drinks, sweets and other foods in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16. | KYODO
A doctor tends to an elderly woman at an evacuation center in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16.
A doctor tends to an elderly woman at an evacuation center in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16. | KYODO
Evacuees queue for food supplies at an entrance of the Kumamoto City Hall on Saturday.
Evacuees queue for food supplies at an entrance of the Kumamoto City Hall on Saturday. | AFP-JIJI
Local residents wait in line for food and goods at a distribution center in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture as storm clouds gather on Saturday.
Local residents wait in line for food and goods at a distribution center in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture as storm clouds gather on Saturday. | AP
As blackouts continue, a family prepares for another night at an evacuation center in Takamori Town, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16.
As blackouts continue, a family prepares for another night at an evacuation center in Takamori Town, Kumamoto Prefecture, on April 16. | KYODO

Kumamoto quake info: where to go, how to help

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