Disasters & Accidents

Over 50 remain missing days after Japan quake claimed 78 lives

Tokyo, Jan 4 (EFE).- More than 50 people were reported missing on Thursday, days after a devastating earthquake left at least 78 dead in Ishikawa prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.

The provincial authorities have released a list of 51 missing persons as rescuers race against time to locate survivors, with the 72-hour limit since the earthquake approaching.

The missing are mostly elderly.

The 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the western coast of central Japan on Monday has resulted in at least 78 casualties.

City authorities have intensified rescue efforts in a race against time as the 72-hour limit approaches, making it increasingly challenging to find people alive.

Experts have warned of potential strong aftershocks, coupled with ongoing rains in the area, which could trigger landslides and complicate rescue efforts.

In Wajima, one of the worst affected towns, the death toll stands at 44, with 23 fatalities in Suzu, five in Nanao city, two in Anamizu, two in Noto, one in Hakui, and another in Shiga.

As of Thursday, approximately 2,000 troops, along with 22 planes and eight ships, were deployed to the prefecture for rescue operations and damage assessment—double the initially deployed resources.

The earthquake that struck the Noto Peninsula Monday had its epicenter 30 km northeast of Wajima and registered level 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, indicating its destructive power.

The tremor is the most devastating in Japan since the 2016 tremor in Kumamoto prefecture (resulting in over 200 deaths) and the first level 7 recorded in the country since 2018 when an earthquake of the same intensity occurred on the island of Hokkaido. EFE

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