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Tsunami warning issued after strong quake hits northwest Japan

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

JAPAN — A strong and shallow earthquake struck Japan’s northwest coast around Niigata prefecture on Tuesday (June 18), triggering a small tsunami, shaking buildings and cutting power to around 9,000 buildings.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), lasted for as long as 20 seconds and damage included a landslide that struck a road, according to public broadcaster NHK. There were no initial reports of fatalities or fires.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there were only reports of minor injuries so far.

The quake struck at 10.22 p.m. local time (1322 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), the USGS said.

It measured 6.7 according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, and in some places was as high as a strong six on the agency’s seven-point “Shindo”, or Seismic Intensity Scale, which measures ground motion at specific points, unlike magnitude which expresses the amount of energy released. – REUTERS

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Kyoto animation studio fire death toll rises to 33

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019

Fire-damaged animation studio building | Courtesy: China Central Television (CCTV)

The death toll from an animation studio fire in Kyoto, Japan on Thursday has risen to 33, local police and rescuers said.

The local fire department said 36 others have been injured, 10 of them critically, in the blaze that sent people desperately scrambling up the stairs toward the roof of the three-story building of the Kyoto Animation Co.

The blaze, ignited by a 41-year-old man with flammable liquid, is believed to be the country’s worst case of arson in decades.

About 70 people were working in the studio when the fire started.

Witnesses said that they saw victims who were badly bleeding were rushed to hospital in the incident that took place at around 10:35 local time in the city’s Fushimi Ward Thursday morning.

Police said the largest number of victims were found on the top floor of the three-story building, including some who had collapsed on the stairs leading to the roof.

The fire caused an explosion that shattered all the windows on the second and third floors.

More than 30 fire engines were deployed to the scene.

The firefighters managed to contain the fire around 03:20 local time, about five hours after it started.

“We sent out a quick report that the building had burned down. This is what has been learned from the investigation at the moment. The building, about 691 square meters, was completely destroyed,” said a Kyoto fireman.

The suspect is also being treated in hospital for injuries sustained during the fire and has been taken into custody, investigators said. His motives are yet to be determined. (REUTERS)

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Several feared dead in fire at Japan animation studio

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

A large plume of smoke is seen coming out of the animation studio that caught fire in Kyoto, Japan. | Courtesy: Reuters

Several people are feared dead after a fire at an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto on Thursday (July 18) and police are investigating a possible arson attack, authorities and local media reported.

The fire at the Kyoto Animation studio injured more than 30 people, 10 of them seriously, and one person has been confirmed dead, a spokesman for the Kyoto City Fire Department said.

Several people were confirmed dead at the site, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing police. A Kyoto police spokesman was unable to immediately confirm the report when contacted by Reuters.

Police have taken into custody a man who poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio, NHK said.

The studio produces the “Sound! Euphonium” series and its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month. (REUTERS)

(Production: Akiko Okamoto, Yiming Woo)

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Japanese national: Let’s clean up Baguio City together!

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

(Left) Masakazu Nose voluntarily paints an overpass in Baguio City. (Right) Masakasu inviting netizens to join him in a cleanup drive.

Masakazu Nose used to run a small takoyaki store in Baguio City.

Born in Tokushima, Japan, Masakazu is known to be a silent man in his 40’s. Some people would even describe him as gentle.

He came to the Philippines in April 2014 to learn English. One month later, he began cleaning overpasses along Magsaysay Avenue, Abanao Street, and lower Session Road.

Every morning, with a pair of tongs in one hand and a garbage bag in the other, Masakazu would go around the streets collecting trash like candy wrappers and plastic cups.

Masakazu even bought paints at his own expense to repaint walls. In a report, he said he did these things because he has time to spare.

This earned the admiration of the locals as well as the media. He was interviewed by various news outlets. Netizens still continue to share their admiration for Masakazu a few years after he first became viral.

Did You Know ?. . . . . Mazakasu Nose is a Japanese National who has lived in Baguio City for a number of years. He owns…

Posted by Romeo del Carmen on Sunday, 14 July 2019

After staying in the Philippines for three years, Masakazu returned to Japan to manage an oil soba store near Okubo station in Tokyo.

But he has never forgotten about his life in the Philippines, which he calls his second home.

Masazaku will return on August 1-3 to clean up the city—this time, he is inviting everyone.

“Let’s clean up the city together!” his Facebook post reads.—AAC

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