Messages appear around evacuation shelters appealing to passing aircraft for rice and water as focus moves towards averting humanitarian crisis
Japan has sent thousands of troops to the island of Kyushu after huge earthquakes struck on Thursday and Friday, forcing more than 150,000 people into evacuation shelters, cutting off power and water to tens of thousands of homes and sparking landslides.
In the areas worse hit, such as Minamiaso-mura, we simply dont know how many people were buried under landslides, Akira Ito at the Kumamoto prefecture government office told the Guardian. The number of missing is reported at between seven and 10 but that number is expected to rise.
A major rescue and aid effort, including help from the US military, is underway after two earthquakes on the southern island of Kyushu killed at least 42 people and forced thousands of people to flee amid fears of further shocks and the possibility of volcanic activity sparked by the seismic shifts. Since Thursday, 500 aftershocks have been recorded.