Disasters & Accidents

Japan earthquake has rendered at least 15 ports unusable

Tokyo, Jan 17 (EFE).- The New Year’s Day earthquake that struck central Japan has left at least 15 ports unusable due to changes in the relief of the area, which has caused the extension of the coastline, state media reported Wednesday.

One of the points that has undergone the most extreme transformation is the damaged city of Wajima, whose surface has gained more than 200 meters from the sea due to the elevation of the terrain on the Noto peninsula, leaving numerous ships stranded in its ports.

Local fishermen are desperate because their vessels cannot set sail, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

In the port of Kuroshima, in Wajima, the rise of the land has exposed a large area of the ocean floor, with the consequent death of marine wildlife, preventing fishermen from going out to fish.

Naganori Takashima, 80, whose house was affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, told NHK that he used to go fishing about 100 days a year to catch horse mackerel, abalone and other species typical of the area, but said he did not think he could do it in one season.

Takashima, one of about 16,000 people still displaced in the region, says he came to see the damage first-hand and was “desperate because it is not a situation that he can solve” on his own, and worried that the area would “lose its vitality” as a result of the disaster.

Two weeks after the Jan. 1 earthquake, various types of damage had been reported in 58 ports, according to data from Ishikawa prefecture, the most affected area and where Wajima is located.

The magnitude 7.6 tremor has left at least 232 dead, 21 missing and more than 1,000 wounded.

More than 20,000 homes have been completely destroyed and thousands more have been damaged, while power outages continued Wednesday in some 7,800 residences, while water outages occurred in more than 50,000 houses. Authorities said supply cuts could last up to two months in some areas.

The government’s Earthquake Investigation Committee has been analyzing the tremor and said one of the faults involved has barely moved, so a similar or larger earthquake could occur in the future. EFE


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