Mashiki (Kumamoto): Barely 24 hours after a smaller quake had hit Kumamoto Prefecture, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Japan's same region on Friday night.
The latest temblor at 1.25 am (local time) was felt across a wide swathes of the southern Japan.
According to Japan's Meteorological Agency a tsunami warning was also been issued. The advisory had identified the presence of a marine threat and had asked people to leave coastal regions situated near Ariake and Yatsushiro seas.
However, the advisory was later lifted as no irregularities were reported at three nuclear power plants in the area, as per Reuters.
It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured or killed as a result of today's seismic event. However, there were reports of residents trapped in collapsed buildings.
In the Yasunaga district of Mashiki, police and firefighters were continuing their search for survivors in the collapsed houses.
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake's epicentre was near the city of Kumamoto and measured at a depth of 40 km (25 miles).
The USGS minutes earlier reported a 7.1 earthquake with a depth of 7 km close to the same location.
Meanwhile, local broadcaster NHK said the advisory suggested a possible wave of one metre in height.
NHK quoted an official at a hospital near the epicentre as saying it had lost power after the Saturday quake and had to use its generators.
A quake in the same region of 6.4 magnitude on Thursday evening had killed nine people and injured at least 1,000.
"Majority of the victims were from the hardest-hit town of Mashiki, about 15 kilometres east of Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu," Kumamoto prefecture disaster management official Takayuki Matsushita had said.
The USGS is now officially calling Thursday's 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Japan as a foreshock.
Baby pulled from rubble after earlier quake
This happened about a full day after rescuers found an 8-month-old baby girl -- alive -- in the ruins of a home destroyed by the earlier quake on Japan's Kyushu island.
Rescuers had been told there was a baby inside the collapsed house, but aftershocks from the Thursday quake prevented the use of heavy equipment at the site.
A magnitude 9 quake in March 2011, to the north of Tokyo, touched off a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Nearly 20,000 people were killed in the tsunami.
(With Agency inputs)