A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 has struck southern Japan, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region and killed nine people. The quake shook the Kumamoto region at 1.25am local time, and several aftershocks soon followed. Japan’s meteorological agency issued an advisory for a tsunami of up to one metre high along the coast west of the epicentre.

The warning was lifted less than an hour later. The epicentre was about eight miles north-west of that of Thursday’s quake and shallower, at a depth of about 6 miles. The Japanese broadcaster NHK said it had received a number of reports of people trapped inside houses and buildings. The sirens of emergency vehicles could be heard in the background as NHK reported from Mashiki, which was hardest hit by the previous quake. FULL REPORT