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Last Updated: Sunday March 25 2007 16:22 GMT

In pictures: Earthquake hits Japan

Collapsed houses in Wajima

A strong earthquake has hit the west coast of Japan's largest island, causing severe damage and killing one person.

Collapsed building

Dozens of houses in Wajima were badly damaged by the quake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.

A man inspects the damage at a stone carving centre

In some of the towns nearest its epi-centre, buildings shook violently for more than 30 seconds during the tremors.

Two men look at a wrecked road

Earthquakes are quite common in Japan, but residents were shocked by the strength of the tremors.

Damaged road in Ishikawa prefecture

Roads were badly twisted and warped by the moving earth and there were several landslides.

Inside a temporary shelter

Temporary shelters have been set up to help look after those who were injured or affected.

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