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Woman dies of heart failure in Kumamoto shelter following quakes

ASO, Kumamoto -- A 77 year-old woman died after her daughter found her collapsed at an emergency shelter here on April 17, it has been learned.

The woman, a resident of Aso, was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, where doctors said that she had suffered acute heart failure. She appears to be the first person to have died at a shelter in the prefecture, where many people remain evacuated due to ongoing aftershocks.

Aso Police Station officials said the woman collapsed inside a temporary toilet facility that had been set up at an agricultural center serving as an emergency shelter following the quakes. Her daughter found her collapsed at around 10 a.m. on April 17.

The woman and her daughter had come to the shelter early in the morning of April 16 following an earthquake that was rated a lower 6 on the Japanese intensity scale in the city of Aso.

Investigators are now trying to determine whether the stress and exhaustion of evacuation may have been a factor contributing to the woman's death.

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