A week after the earthquake that hit Japan’s west coast, searches are still underway for the rubble of destroyed buildings. The number of dead is rising and over 300 people are missing. Thousands of people remain without water and electricity, meanwhile the devastated regions are covered with snow and the temperature dropped below zero.
The death toll from the strong earthquake that hit the Noto Peninsula in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture on New Year’s Day has risen to 168, local authorities announced on Monday. 323 people are missing, and over 560 people were injured as a result of the quake.
The search for survivors is complicated by extensive damage, landslides and aftershocks. At the beginning of the week, the rescue operation was made even more difficult by snowfall and negative air temperatures. More snow and rain are expected over the next few days. Thousands of people remain without access to electricity and water.
Rescue teams are trying to deliver food, water and medicine to 30,000 evacuated residents of Ishikawa Prefecture who have been placed in 370 temporary shelters.
The most tragic earthquake in eight years
The 7.6-magnitude quake destroyed homes in Suzu at the tip of the peninsula and caused fires in the city of Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture. It also caused damage to infrastructure in Niigata, Toyama, Fukui and Gifu prefectures.
It is the deadliest earthquake in Japan since 2016, when 276 people were killed in an earthquake in the southwestern Kumamoto region.
PAP, Reuters, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/JIJI PRESS