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Designated national cultural asset at Aso Shrine collapses in Kumamoto quake

The tower gate, front, and worship hall at Aso Shrine in Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, are seen collapsed on April 16, 2016, after a powerful earthquake hit the area early that morning. (Mainichi)

ASO, Kumamoto -- The tower gate and worship hall at Aso Shrine in this city have both completely collapsed, the Kumamoto Prefectural Police's Aso station reported.

The tower gate is designated as an important national cultural asset and one of Japan's three key shrine tower gates.

Meanwhile, the Japan Meteorological Agency has announced that the 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit the Kumamoto area of Kumamoto Prefecture at around 1:15 a.m. on April 16, which registered as high as an upper-6 on the Japanese 7-point intensity scale, was the "main shock" of a series of strong tremors that has been continuing in the Kyushu region since the night of April 14.

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