Photo: Smoke rises from the Kashiwazaki power plant after the quake.
A STRONG earthquake killed at least six people in Japan yesterday,injured more than 600, flattened houses and triggered a fire at the world's largest nuclear power plant.
Flames and billows of black smoke poured from the Kashiwazaki nuclear plant, which automatically shut down during the quake.
Fire sirens could be heard in hard-hit Kashiwazaki city, and older buildings were reduced to piles of timber.
National broadcaster NHK reported that more than 600 people were hurt, with injuries including broken bones, cuts and bruises.
About 2200 people were evacuated from their homes, city official Takashi Otsuka said.Second earthquake hits Japan
July 16, 2007
A second earthquake has struck Japan hours after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake jolted
The second tremor, measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale, struck just after 11pm on Monday.