Death toll rises in Japan after earthquakes

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MASHIKI, Japan — As nightfall approached in Japan, those left homeless by deadly twin earthquakes lined up by the hundreds seeking rations and shelter.

They’re also bracing for rainfall and strong winds that may set off more devastating mudslides in Japan’s earthquake-struck southern region. Local stores on the southwestern island of Kyushu quickly ran out of stock and closed today. The military also cooked rice and soup outdoors. At least 32 people are now known dead.

Aftershocks continue to rattle Kyushu island as thousands of army troops and other rescuers rush to save residents trapped in collapsed structures before bad weather complicates things even more. Landslides have cut off roads and destroyed bridges, slowing down rescuers. Officials say nearly 70,000 people have left their homes.

Thousands of people sought shelter in gymnasiums and hotel lobbies following the 6.5 magnitude quake Friday and a 7.3 quake Saturday.

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