Evacuated residents wait in a park in Higashi-ku in Kumamoto City. A strong 7,0 earthquake hit southern Japan early, the US Geological Survey said, a day after another powerful tremor killed at least nine people in the same area. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes after the 6.5-magnitude quake struck the southwestern island of Kyushu on Thursday night, leaving lumps of concrete strewn in the streets.