At least nine people have been killed and more than 800 injured by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that toppled houses and buckled roads in southern Japan.
With daybreak, the extent of the damage became apparent: collapsed buildings, streets warped by manholes pushed higher by the earth's movement, an expressway crunched and buckled, International media reported.
Five women and four men were killed, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. One man in his 20s died; the rest of the victims ranged from their 50s to one woman in her 90s. Eight of the nine victims were from Mashiki.
The government's chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said at least 860 people had been injured, 53 seriously. He said 1,600 soldiers had joined the relief and rescue efforts.
About 44,000 people sought refuge, though some returned home in the morning. TV reports showed troops delivering blankets and adult diapers to those who took shelter.
The quake struck at 9:26 p.m. Thursday at a depth of 11 kilometers (7 miles) near Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
There was no tsunami risk.