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UK 'ready to support Japan after earthquakes'

Published 16/04/2016

David Cameron says the UK is following the situation closely in Japan
David Cameron says the UK is following the situation closely in Japan

Britain "stands ready" to support Japan in any way it can after it was hit by a second devastating earthquake, David Cameron has said.

Rescue missions are under way in the Kumamoto region on the south-western island of Kyushu after a magnitude-7.3 tremor that left at least 22 dead.

It follow a magnitude-6.5 earthquake in Kyushu on Thursday that killed at least ten.

More than 1,500 were injured into the two disasters and hundreds of thousands of people have been left without electricity or water.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said "daytime today is the big test" for rescue efforts as he warned that heavy rain and strong winds could now cause mudslides in the affected areas.

Mr Cameron said the UK was following the situation closely.

The Prime Minister said: "I am deeply saddened by the earthquake in Kumamoto. This second powerful earthquake, following so quickly after the first earthquake on Thursday, has brought further terrible devastation and loss of life. Our thoughts are with all those affected.

"The full extent of the damage will only become clear over the next few days. The UK is following the situation closely and stands ready to support the Japanese response in any way we can."

Parts of the historic Aso Shrine, a popular tourist spot that is more than 1,700 years old, have been damaged.

A towering gate, known as the "cherry blossom gate" because of its grandeur when the trees bloom in spring, collapsed after being totally destroyed.

A residents stand in front of damaged house in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan Saturday, April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region. (Naoya Osato/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
A residents stand in front of damaged house in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan Saturday, April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region. (Naoya Osato/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
This picture shows a collapsed stone wall of the Kumamoto Castle in Kumamoto on April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early on April 16, authorities said, sending panicked residents out of their homes in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
This picture shows a collapsed stone wall of the Kumamoto Castle after an earthquake in Kumamoto on April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early on April 16, authorities said, sending panicked residents out of their homes in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
The aerial view shows a landslide after an earthquake in Minami-Aso, Kumamoto prefecture on April 16, 2016. Scores of people were feared buried alive after a second powerful quake hit southern Japan Saturday, killing at least 18, and sparking collapses and fires, barely 24 hours after the first disaster struck. / AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / STR / Japan OUTSTR/AFP/Getty Images
The aerial view shows damaged apartments after an earthquake in Minami-Aso, Kumamoto prefecture on April 16, 2016. Scores of people were feared buried alive after a second powerful quake hit southern Japan Saturday, killing at least 18, and sparking collapses and fires, barely 24 hours after the first disaster struck. / AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / STR / Japan OUTSTR/AFP/Getty Images
In this aerial photo, a parking lot is seen damaged by the earthquake in Minamiaso town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan Saturday, April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region.(Muneyuki Tomari/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
In this aerial photo, the landslide caused by the earthquake disrupts the road in Minamiaso town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan Saturday, April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region.(Kyodo News via AP)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 16: Houses are seen destroyed after a recent earthquake on April 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. Following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14th, the Kumamoto prefecture was once again struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 9 people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 16: A traffic light is seen after a recent earthquake on April 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. Following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14th, the Kumamoto prefecture was once again struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 9 people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 16: Houses are seen destroyed after a recent earthquake on April 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. Following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14th, the Kumamoto prefecture was once again struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 9 people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 16: Rescue team saved a man from his house buried alive on April 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. Following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14th, the Kumamoto prefecture was once again struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 9 people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 16: a crushed car is seen after a recent earthquake on April 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. Following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14th, the Kumamoto prefecture was once again struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 9 people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
KUMAMOTO, JAPAN - APRIL 16: The road is terriblly distructed by the earth quake on April 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Japan. Following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14th, the Kumamoto prefecture was once again struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 9 people. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)
A couple heads to their house in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early April 16, authorities said, sending panicked residents out of their homes in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
A cyclist looks at a shopping arcade destroyed by the earthquake in Kumamoto city, southern Japan Saturday, April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region. (Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
Rescue workers try to save people from a collaspsed house in Mimami-Aso, Kuammoto prefecture, on April 16, 2016. A more powerful quake hit southern Japan, killing at least seven people, toppling large buildings and triggering a massive landslide just over a day after an earlier tremor which left nine dead. / AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS / Japan OUTJIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers and their dogs patrol past collapsed houses in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake hit southern Japan early April 16, authorities said, sending panicked residents out of their homes in a region where nerves were already frayed by a swarm of strong shaking. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
A hotel guest tries to protect herself from repeated aftershocks in Kumamoto, southern Japan early Saturday, April 16, 2016. A powerful earthquake struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
Police rescue team members search damaged houses for trapped people in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture after one of a series of earthquakes (AP)
Police officers search for people possibly trapped at a damaged home in Mashiki (AP)
This aerial view shows damaged houses in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, Friday, April 15, 2016, a day after a magnitude-6.5 earthquake. (Koji Harada/Kyodo News via AP)
A resident walks through the debris after a magnitude-6.5 earthquake in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, Friday, April 15, 2016. More than 100 aftershocks from Thursday night's earthquake continued to rattle the region as businesses and residents got a fuller look at the widespread damage from the unusually strong quake, which also injured about 800 people. (Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A clock stopped at 0:05 is seen in the collapsed house a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. The owner of the house said that the house was damaged more by the aftershock that happened at 0:05. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: A boy stands on the collapsed stone fence a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
MASHIKI, JAPAN - APRIL 15: Mobile phones are being charged at the evacuation center a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake at the Mashiki Town Gymnasium on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. As of April 15 morning, at least nine people died in the powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14, 2016. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
A man walks next to a sidewalk covered by rubble in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on April 15, 2016, after a 6.5-magnitude quake struck the southwestern island of Kyushu on April 14. Rescuers searched through rubble for possible survivors on April 15 after a powerful earthquake in southern Japan left at least nine people dead and hundreds injured, though officials said the toll was unlikely to rise dramatically. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
A Self-Defense Forces personnel helps a family to pack bottles of water in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on April 15, 2016, after a 6.5-magnitude quake struck the southwestern island of Kyushu on April 14. Rescuers searched through rubble for possible survivors on April 15 after a powerful earthquake in southern Japan left at least nine people dead and hundreds injured, though officials said the toll was unlikely to rise dramatically. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
Image taken from video footage released by the Kumamoto Prefectural Police on April 15, 2016 shows a rescue worker carrying an eight-month-old baby girl after she was pulled from the rubble following an earthquake in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture. Photo: Kumamoto Prefectural Police/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces make rice balls at the soup-run operated at the evacuation center a day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake at the Mashiki Town Hall on April 15, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
An aerial view shows damaged Kyushu highway in the city of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on April 15, 2016, after a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Japan's southwestern island of Kyushu the day before. AFP/Getty Images

Eleanor Bley Griffiths was on holiday in Japan with her boyfriend when both the quakes struck.

The 23-year-old from London said: "I was in Kyoto for the quake which I think they are calling the pre-quake - that was unexpected. It was a sensation of the floor moving, windows rattling, curtains swaying. There was no forewarning."

She then travelled to Hiroshima when the second quake struck and said: "We were just in a hotel room ...The floor was shaking, we felt a bit unsteady and everything started to rattle. The windows rattled but it is designed to be like that."

She said an announcement went out through the hotel address system "and through the streets on loudspeakers, and we were told to get under a table.

"It went on for quite a while, and there were quite a lot of aftershocks."

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