About a quarter of the indirect deaths officially linked to last April's earthquakes in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures spent some of their nights in a vehicle, it has been learned.

Of the 170 people indirectly killed by the disaster, such as through a decline in health, at least 41, or 24 percent, had spent one night or more in a vehicle, Kyodo News has found.

The 41 deaths include six suspected of being caused by deep vein thrombosis, better known as economy class syndrome, after being driven from their homes due the quakes, which included a magnitude-6.5 temblor on April 14 and a magnitude-7.3 jolt two days later.