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Aftershocks plague Japan, toll from massive quakes climbs

TOKYO -- Searchers found a man's body Wednesday in a landslide-hit area in southern Japan, bringing the death toll to 48 from two powerful earthquakes last week as aftershocks continued rattling the country.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 5.8 magnitude earthquake Wednesday about 60 miles off the coast of Honshu prefecture, which was one of the hardest hit regions in the devastating March 2011 quake and tsunami. There were no reports of damage and no tsunami warnings issued after the large aftershock on Wednesday.

Three people remain missing after the pair of powerful quakes that struck Thursday and Saturday. Kumamoto prefecture said another 11 people had died from illnesses believed to be related to the physical stress of evacuation.

Rescue efforts are underway on the southern i... 01:46
Physicist Michio Kaku on the earthquakes in E... 04:37

More than 100,000 people are homeless or have fled their homes in the south as aftershocks continue to shake the area. Many are living in cramped conditions in shelters or even their cars, with limited food and water.

A magnitude-6.5 earthquake on Thursday night followed by a 7.3 quake early Saturday morning caused widespread damage in parts of Kumamoto city and surrounding communities on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands.

The body was found in the mountain village of Minamiaso, where the second quake triggered landslides that slammed into buildings and across roads. Soldiers and other rescue workers used backhoes and shovels to search through dirt and debris for the missing.

Rain is forecast for Thursday, raising fears of more landslides.

In all, 14 victims have been found in Minamiaso. The hardest-hit town appears to be Mashiko, where 20 people died. Kumamoto prefecture has tallied 1,454 homes destroyed so far, of which 1,026 are in Mashiko.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it would restart most assembly lines next week after they were halted because of earthquake-related parts shortages.

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