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Mass evacuations and safety fears after deadly earthquakes rock southern Japan

Nearly a quarter of a million people have been told to evacuate their homes in the wake of two deadly earthquakes that hit Japan this week.

More than 40 people were killed and 1,000 injured in the latest powerful earthquake to hit the country, just a day after another quake in the same region.

Many are reported to still be trapped in rubble and the quakes also caused a huge landslide near a dam.

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7.4-magnitude earthquake hits southern Japan

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake has struck near Kumamoto in southern Japan.

Japanese broadcaster NHK said a number of calls were coming in from residents reporting people being trapped inside houses and buildings.

The quake hit at a depth of 40km (25 miles). The scientific agency earlier reported a 7.1 quake with a depth of 7km near the same location.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory, urging people to leave coastal regions but it was lifted 50 minutes earlier.

There are fears that some people may be trapped in collapsed buildings and rescue services are working through the night.

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