Evacuees queue for food  at Kumamoto City Hall. A powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit southern Japan early on April 16th. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

On the floor of Kumamoto city hall, the old and young lie side by side on makeshift beds, praying for a few hours of unbroken sleep. “I thought the e(...)

 An elderly woman holding her pet dog talks on a mobile phone after a second earthquake hit southwestern Japan on Saturday. Photograph: EPA

A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck southern Japan early on Saturday, killing at least 20 people, injuring more than 1,000 and trapping people(...)

A road newly damaged by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake  on Saturday April 16th, 2016 in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. Photograph: Taro Karibe/Getty Images

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck southern Japan, just over 24 hours after a quake killed nine people and injured at least 1,000 in the same area.(...)

A woman cleans up in front of her collapsed house in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on April 15, 2016.

Aftershocks rattled communities in southern Japan as businesses and residents examined the widespread damage from an unusually strong earthquake in wh(...)

The tsunami wall in Minaimsoma, Fukushima Prefecture. Photograph: David McNeill

Like hundreds of communities along Japan’s northeast coast, the village of Koizumi exists on maps only. Five years ago, an earthquake under the Pacifi(...)

An image from a manga comic book by Kazuto Tatsuta, a former employee at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Image: Kodansha

Like many other men, Shinya Yamada was glad of the work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Because he toiled close to its wrecked reactors, his h(...)

Members of the public observe a moment of silence to mark the exact time when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off Japan’s coast in 2011. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Japan on Friday mourned the thousands who lost their lives in a massive earthquake and tsunami five years ago that turned towns to matchwood and trigg(...)

Mayor of Minamisoma Katsunobu Sakurai: ‘We have to appeal to people to return, tell them that the food and air here is safe.’ Photograph: David McNeill

Katsunobu Sakurai’s mayoral office overlooks a lattice of dense, squat housing stretching to the Pacific coast about seven miles away. From here, he(...)

Then Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and  vice president Sakae Muto at a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo in March 2011. Both have been charged with mishandling the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), operator of the ruined Daiichi Fukushima Nuclear Plant, have been charged with mishandling(...)

Volcanic lightning at an eruption of Mount Sakurajima, in this photo taken from Tarumizu city, Kagoshima prefecture, in southwestern Japan. The peak experiences hundreds of small eruptions a year. Photograph: Reuters/Kyodo

A volcano in Japan about 50km from a nuclear plant erupted on Friday, shooting ash nearly 2km into the night sky along with fountains of lava, but the(...)