Japan has been hit by a powerful 6.7-magnitude earthquake just days after typhoon Jebi made landfall on the country.
Residents on the island of Hokkaido were struck by the deadly earthquake in the early hours today, with deaths and hundreds of injuries.
The quake caused rolling blackouts to the city, plunging the 5.3 million residents into darkness.
As the tremors have subsided, serious danger remains in the area from aftershocks and some people may have been trapped by landslides.
Japan’s latest natural disaster has turned into another natural emergency as dozens have been injured or have gone missing in the shockwaves from the major earthquake.
So far, the 6.7-magnitude tremor has killed at least eight people, Japanese authorities have confirmed.
Aerial footage has shown landslides burying local residences, where many people are feared trapped as the landscape turns to rubble.
A further 120 people have been injured by the shaking, pinned by landslides and collapsing buildings.
Local infrastructure has ground to a halt, train services have been halted and airports have been closed in the wake of the destruction.
Is it safe to travel?
Japan’s earthquake gripped the nation at a time when it was still recovering from a typhoon, meaning many services are still waiting to be reinstated.
The added fatigue from the tremors mean both local and international travel to and from Hokkaido and parts of Honshu is not possible at this time.
Hokkaido’s main airport is shut to the public until the island is able to recover from the earthquake.
The most serious risk to travel are aftershocks, however, which have rocked the region after the main tremor today.
People currently residing on Hokkaido should be weary when it comes to travel, as immediately following the earthquake, smaller tremors of 5.4 were felt in the region.
Earthquake warnings state that it is best to evacuate on foot if you can, and head towards emergency shelters where you can stay put.
Travel likely won’t be possible, and most local services at least will be halted while the region recovers, and further aftershocks are likely inbound.
Using heavy vehicles to evacuate during an earthquake is not advised, but would not be possible regardless as roads are damaged and mud flows into the streets.
Help is on the way for affected residents, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has deployed 25,000 Self-Defense Force troops for rescue operations.
The UK Foreign Office has also issued advice for those travelling in the area.
Official advice states: “If you are in Hokkaido, or are planning to travel to the area, please be careful of aftershocks, follow the advice of the local authorities, follow local news, and check with the transportation companies for any changes or cancelations of schedule.
“For emergency consular assistance, call (81) 3-5211-1100.”