it's a thursday night here in japan. i am james tengan in tokyo. welcome to "newsline." here are some of the stories we're following this hour. bracing for more. people in southwestern japan are told to watch out for more earthquakes and warned that rain could cause landslides. growing desperation. search operations continue in ecuador following saturday's deadly quake and many are in
need of food and medicine. and investigating the scandal. japan's mitsubishi motors falsified fuel efficiency data for more than 600,000 vehicles and they're checking to see if it happened for others. people in southwestern japan are struggling with hundreds of continuing tremors seven days after being hit by the dpirs in a series of powerful earthquakes. officials warn aftershocks could continue for another week. on top of that, heavy rain is threatening to make the situation even worse. the rain is hampering rescue workers in their search for two missing people. 48 people have died and more than a thousand others were injured. about 90,000 are taking refuge in evacuation shelters. meteorologist ogcal officials are urging people to remain on alert. >> translator: the seismic activity is still continuing, and i urge people in the area to
stay vigilant. >> the agency says another threat is potential landslides because of loosened soil. authorities are also telling tens of thousands of residents who have decided to stay in their homes to evacuate. >> translator: my house has lost most of its roof tiles. i haven't covered it with plastic sheets yet, so the rain might ruin everything inside. >> translator: the ground could give way in an aftershock if the rain loosens it more. >> meanwhile, some services are starting to be restored. the local power company says electricity has been reconnected to almost all houses in kumamoto. >> translator: i can now watch tv and know what's going on around here, so i feel calmer. >> many homes are still without water or gas, and parts of highways and railways remain
closed. >> survivors are trying to cope with the new reality while volunteers are helping as best they can. self-defense force personnel have been preparing food for survivors. people anxiously wait to get something warm to eat. many continue to stay and sleep in their cars, their homes too damaged to return to. and because they're too afraid of the constant jolts. >> translator: the parking lot was closed off this morning. people like me who had been staying there are now looking around for a new place to go to. there are so many people at the evacuation center, so my children can't sleep there. >> some 200 people showed up at the hard-hit town of mashki to help out. they signed up at a make shift volunteer center that just opened thursday and then got to work helping to clean temporary toilets and sorting out relief
supplies. >> translator: i just had to come here. i want to help out. >> concerns are rising over the health of evacuees. a woman taking refuge died suddenly after collapsing in a restroom on sunday. authorities say nine others have died, possibly due to stress and the physical toll. a group of university students in the disaster zone has taken to social media to help people who do not understand japanese. nhk world has more. >> reporter: the damage from the deadly earthquakes that shook kumamoto last week spread beyond the prefecture. the city of bepu was one of many cities damaged by the quakes. it's a popular destination for international tourists and also home to many students from abroad. some of them feel unsafe amid continuing earthquakes. >> we heard the alarm and we didn't know what it was.
fortunately the children knew, so it was quite scary. >> all the announcements were in japanese so we basically felt -- we didn't know what to do. >> reporter: she is a sophomore at the local university. together with non-japanese students he created a facebook group saturday called information beppu. >> translator: we couldn't receive information about available shelters or the current situation of the supplies. so we volunteered to provide information that city officials couldn't. >> reporter: the group's members got the idea to translate the information into english after an international student needed help finding a shelter that had room. they now provide that, along with locations of water stations, weather forecasts, and the strength of the continuing seismic jolts. it's gotten a good response. more than 3,000 people have joined the group.
>> they have japanese here, but the international student translates the information into english for us so it's easy to understand. >> translator: many foreigners in beppu are feeling insecure amid the persisting tremors. i want to ease their anxiety by translating information into various languages. >> reporter: he says the project is growing with people translating some information into spanish, chinese and korean. he wants to expand it further, maybe recruiting volunteers through the group. the disaster has highlighted the need for information in languages other than japanese. information that is so vital, it could save lives. kurando tago, nhk world.
the search for the missing is becoming increasingly desperate in ecuador following a powerful earthquake saturday, but strong aftershocks are making it a dangerous operation. destruction and grief is everywhere with 570 people dead and over 7,000 injured. emergency workers are combing through the rubble in search of more than 150 missing people. but now four days on, there has been little progress in rescuing people alive. >> translator: we had information about four bodies, and all of them have been found, but technically we have to check the whole building to make sure there are no more. >> long lines stretch at aid stations. many are desperate for food, water and medicine. >> translator: i have a lot of needs because, the truth is, we have nothing to eat. since the earthquake we can't
buy what we used to buy in the town. >> the government has dispatched 14,000 troops to maintain security but frustration and despair are growing. some energy experts say the group of seven leaders need to do more to help stabilize oil prices. gene otani has the details along with today's other top business stories. two energy experts are calling on the japanese prime minister shinzo abe, to put oil prices high on the agenda at the summit in japan next month. they say leaders should discuss ways to tackle the continuing slump which have been causing pain in financial markets. iea executive director and professopaul stephens of britain's royal institute of international affairs met with the prime minister in tokyo.
>> birol said following crude prices prompted some producers to slash output and inventory but he is confident prices will start to rebound later this year or next year. stephens said countries could provide greater stability by bumping financial aid into oil development projects. he also called for framework allowing countries to share oil reserves in emergencies. executives at mitsubishi motors admit employees rigged data to make fuel efficiency appear better in more than 600,000 mini vehicles. now they say they're going to call in independent experts to see if the scandal goes deeper. executives say two of the models in question were their own and two they produced for nissan. the president says it was actually people at nissan who discovered something was wrong. they noticed the fuel efficiency
numbers mitsubishi gave the government were 5% to 10% better than the real levels. the president says the person in charge of the tests has admitted to the wrong-doing. >> translator: i believe the data was intentionally falsified to show favorable results, but i am not sure of the reasons behind the misconduct. >> executives say the auto maker may reimburse customers for their fuel costs. they also admit other models for the japanese market were tested in ways that didn't meet regulations. but they don't know which ones or how many vehicles are affected. a panel of experts from outside the firm is set to investigate. shares of mitsubishi motors tumbled 20% following the news but stocks in tokyo were up overall. the nikkei average finished at the highest level in more than two months. for the details, we go to giang
nguyen at the tokyo stock exchange. >> oil prices climbed to a five-month high. this helped shares in tokyo extend gains to a third day. nikkei added 2.7% to finish at 17,363, and that's the highest close since february 2nd. the broader topix gained 2%. the focus on thursday was mitsubishi motors. many investors put in sell orders after news of the data manipulation. at the close it fell more than 20%. the daily loss limit. suppliers to mitsubishi motors also suffered. one parts maker was down 9% and a car battery maker dropped 1.5%. despite the fall from mitsubishi motors overall sentiment was positive. the energy sector among the winners. oil and gas winner inpex posted a gain of more than 5%.
others were also up. the focus turns to european central banks policy meeting. investors are carefully watching how market investors react to the outcome. >> thank you very much. moving to other markets in the asia-pacific region. let's move to china. shanghai composite declining by .7%. 2952 the closing number, a three-week low. financial and real estate shares sank. erasing gains in the energy sector. moving on to taiwan's tiex gaining by .6%. 8568 the closing number snapping three days of losses. tech stocks led the gains after data showed electronics export orders rose in march for the first increase in a year. hang seng gaining by 1.8%. indonesian shares gaining .5%. a central bank there kept its key interest rate unchanged in line with expectations.
sydney's s&p gaining by over 1% on the back of higher commodity prices. officials in japan's cabinet office say there is no change to their overall assessment of the economy. they say it continues to recover moderately despite signs of weakness. an economic report for april says private consumption is almost flat and consumer confidence appears to be leveling off. but capital investment is picking up. officials downgraded their assessment of business sentiment. they said the economic outlook for the month ahead will depend on the impact of the kumamoto earthquake. here is a look at some of the other stories we're following. japan's major supermarket logged a 3% fall in sales for march compared with the same month last year. the first year on year decline in four months. shoppers bought more ready-made meals but the figures for
clothing were down more than 8%. business leaders from the group of seven nations have met in tokyo to discuss the world economy, trade and investment. they called on their governments to embrace flexible fiscal policy and bold structural reforms. they said countries can't rely on monetary policy alone. the delegates are pushing for their proposals to be part of a declaration at the g 7 summit in japan next month. malta oil markets are taking a toll on major petroleum producing nations. saudi arabia is close to securing a lone from overseas banks. it will be the first time in 25 years that the country has gone abroad for help. they're expected to sign a deal soon with more than ten banks. the people at one of china's biggest web companies are expanding their horizons. the staff are trying to capture a slice of the growing market for chinese travellers to japan
with a new mapping service. >> reporter: these chinese tourists have moved beyond guide books. they use their smartphones to navigate instead. back home they would probably be using baidu just as 3 million chinese do each month. the phone began offering a map in february. before lunch it was completely blank. developers had to add over 130,000 location names. the map now shows major points of interest in chinese. users can get detailed information, including menu suggestions. the company hopes the service will generate commissions and advertising revenue. he is in charge of the japanese
mapping service. >> translator: i hope to make it a platfor on which he people in other parts of theorld can communicate. >>eporter:he firm estimates that only about 20% of chinese visitors to japan use a mapping service. far fewer than the number who use it back home. managers at baidu's headquarters in beijing took up the issue in february. >> translator: we should probably cooperate with businesses. that could increase information and word of mou communication on shops, restaurants, and facilities. there are lots of less-known tourist spots and independently operated restaurants in kyoto. it would be ideal if we could add information about them on our japanese map. >> reporter: he visited tokyo for firsthand research and to encourage businesses to sign up. many streets there are lined
with small restaurants and souvenir shops, but only a few of them appear on the map. takahashi asked chinese visitors what they thought about the service. >> translator: it now offers a japanese map. were you aware of that? >> translator: so. i use google. >> translator: it would be more useful if it included information about restaurants and public toilets. >> reporter: he visited a store that has seen a huge increase in the number of chinese customers. the manager hopes that baidu's mapping service will help them attract even more. >> translator: the map to me increase the number who visit the store on purpose rather than just dropping by. >> reporter: he envisions another goal as well.
>> translator: i am hoping the map will bring about new encounters bween jan and china. >> reporter: baidu is betting that its new service will help japanese businesses plot a course toward a more profitable future. takeo baba, nhk world. that's it for business news. i am going to leave you with the markets.
u.s. president barack obama is visiting saudi arabia ahead of a regional summit. the american media are reporting that a reception for obama showed the strained ties between the two allies. the u.s. president met with saudi king sal man abdulaziz in reed ahhed on wednesday, the first leg of obama's overseas trip. white house officials said the two leaders agreed on the portance of bilateral ties. the officials said the leaders also discussed cooperation in the campaign against islamic state militants and the cessation of hostilities in syria and yemen. earlier saudi officials held a welcome ceremony for obama at an airport in the capital. but king salman did not attend. the riyadh governor greeted obama instead. bilateral relations between the u.s. and saudi arabia have soured recently. this is partly because of the agreement reached last year among six world powers to relax sanctions against iran in return
for restrictions on its nuclear development. obama is attending a summit of the six-nation gulf cooperation council. he intends to emphasize his commitment to the security of saudi arabia and other nations to show that u.s. ties with the kingdom have improved. officials with the united nations refugee agency fear several hundred have died in another migrant tragedy at sea. a boat packed with people is believed to have capsized in the mediterranean somewhere between libya and italy. u.n.h.c.r. officials say the migrants reportedly set out on a smuggler's boat from a town in libya. they say the smugglers attempted to transfer the migrants to a larger boat already carrying hundreds of people but the boat started to sink. they say as many as 500 people may have died. only 41 were rescued and taken to greece. >> they were shouting for help.
but no one can help because every one of us wanted to -- wanted to save his life only. >> only a year ago about 800 people died in similar circumstances. the eu is currently sending back migrants reaching greece from turkey. that's led to a sharp drop in the number of people using that route to get to europe. but more refugees and migrants are crossing the mediterranean to reach italy. >> in recent weeks we've seen the number of people crossing from libya into italy increase dramatically. and we fear that this is the beginning of the good season. >> he sd a new lal framewk is need to help refugee reach europe witut risng their lives. cha state-ru televisn ys a chise man has been sentced to sen years in prison for spyg activits relad tthe senkaku islands in the east china sea. japan controls the islands. china and taiwan claim them.
china central television reported on wednesday that the man carried out eionage related to the islands between vember 2012 and december 2013. cctv said he took photos of a chinese military facility and provided them to a foreign nation. it noted that the facility belongs to a military unit that mainly operates in the east china sea. around the an eastern province. it warned that his action could threaten chinese security. cctv broadcast images of city-scapes and bank notes and mentioned a person with a japanese-like surname who allegedly gave directions to the chinese man. the japanese government maintains that the islands are an inherent part of japan's territory in terms of history and international law. it says there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them. china has an anti-espionage law that came into effect in 2014. last year authorities detained
four japanese people on suspicion of involvement in espionage. the weather has been all but benign to people in kumamoto as we learn in this weather update. >> the rain will likely stop tomorrow but more rain is anticipated into tonight. a cold front is moving through the area over the kyushu region. a narrow band of heavy rainfall. warnings are in place for the northern half of kyushu including kumamoto prefecture. areas are record breaking heavy rainfall or even a half a month's worth of rainfall in several places. over 100 millimeters of rain in 12 hours. strong winds buffeted much of kyushu. wind gusts reached up to 115 kilometers per hour across the northern portions. the system will likely move away by tomorrow. even the sun may come out, but the ground will remain sarated.
stay away fm dgerous areas. rain is moving into central and northern japan as we go into the next several hours. some areas will see up to 180 millimeters of rain, so flooding and landslides could happen and rain and thunderstorms and watch out for tornadoes as well. tokyo will see rain continuing into tomorrow morning. the high could be 26 degrees. so it's going to be the hottest temperature so far this year. beautiful weather in beijing. it's the hottest time of the year in the ceasoutheast portio of asia. 36 in bakok. stay hyated! you can see there is almost no cloud cover over the sub-continent india. heat is building. we havpictures coming out of india show youow pple are dealing with this heat. heec is scorching northern india and disrupting lives. the temperature soared to 44 degrees celsius wednesday. hot conditions have been covering the area for several days. the oppressive weather is forcing people to stay indoors
and seek hydrating fluids to stay cool. a lack of water is causing a crisis for residents. heat warnings remain in place across the eastern portions of india into the next couple of days. take a look at these highs. temperature in new del i up to 41 on wednesday and bangladesh, 43. it's going to be very hot once again on your friday. across the southern hemisphere we have been watching a cyclone named fantala. it was once the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the indian ocean but as you can see the eye is disappearing so it's actually weakening. it's now a severe tropical storm. this is packing winds of 130 kilometers per hour. it's moving away from madagascar. however, it's starting to move back towards madagascar once again. so the northern tip here will continue to see high wds and
heavy rain. new yo in texas more rain is taking place. more rain is anticipated into friday. more floods could happen. and rain will also soak locations around the mississippi river basin. still on the dry side across the eastern areas of united states. 21 for the high in new york city. 23 in the u.s. capitol and 21 for the high in seattle on thursday. here is the extended forecast.
>> reporters plus -- >> welcome to live from paris. a rare sign of humanitarian progress in syria. the u.n. began evacuating i've hundred people from deceased areas held by both government forces and militants. cooperation council summit kicks off in saudi arabia with u.s. president barack obama in attendance.