Japan earthquake: ‘I thought I was going to die’

Police rescue team members search through damaged houses to check possibility of trapped people in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, Friday, April 15, 2016. Aftershocks rattled communities in southern Japan as businesses and residents got a fuller look Friday at the widespread damage from an unusually strong overnight earthquake. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)

MASHIKI, Japan (AP) — A still shocked resident from a town in southern Japan recounted his terror the previous night as he examined the damage Friday from a powerful earthquake that brought down buildings and left nine people dead.

“It’s as if all control was lost, I thought I was going to die and I couldn’t bear it any longer,” said Yuichiro Yoshikado, who was taking a bath in his apartment in the hardest-hit town of Mashiki.

“I grabbed onto the sides of the bathtub, but the water in the tub, it was about 70 percent filled with water, was going like this,” he said waving his arms, “and all the water splashed out.”

 More than 100 aftershocks from Thursday night’s magnitude-6.5 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.

A bright spot broadcast repeatedly on television was the overnight rescue of an apparently uninjured baby, wrapped in a blanket and carried out of the rubble of a collapsed home.

The quake struck near the city of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) southwest of Tokyo. Mashiki is on Kumamoto’s eastern border, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city’s center.

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