Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Earthquake in Japan: a new assessment is made report of 242 missing

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Four days after the earthquake, rescuers are still trying to find survivors.

Agence France-Presse

At least 242 people were missing in central Japan on Friday, where rescuers continue to search for survivors in the rubble, almost four days later the powerful New Year's earthquake that left at least 92 dead.

Two elderly women were able to be extracted alive from the rubble. But hopes of finding other survivors are dwindling after the expiration the day before of the 72-hour deadline, considered crucial for saving lives after a natural disaster, especially as the weather Winter weather doesn't help, with snow expected on Sunday.

The 7.5 magnitude quake that struck at 4:10 p.m. local time on Monday was felt as far away as Tokyo, 300 km away. It shook the Noto Peninsula, a thin strip of land that extends about a hundred kilometers into the Sea of ​​Japan, collapsing buildings and devastating roads.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday described this earthquake, which was followed by numerous aftershocks, as the most serious disaster of Japan's Reiwa era, which began in 2019 with the accession to the throne of Japanese Emperor Naruhito.

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Firefighters inspect collapsed wooden houses.

According to a new provisional report announced Friday morning by the department of Ishikawa, where the Noto peninsula is located, the disaster has already killed 92 people, and 242 people are still missing.

At least 330 people were also injured in the earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks that followed. A tsunami also hit the coast, and waves more than a meter high swept away quays, homes and seaside roads.

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Several hundred people whose homes were destroyed are still housed in evacuation centers.< /p>

Nearly 30,000 homes were still without electricity on Friday morning in Ishikawa department, and around 90,000 homes did not have access to running water in Ishikawa and the surrounding areas. Toyama and Niigata prefectures, located further north on the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan.

The port town of Wajima on the Noto Peninsula was one of the worst hit, and a pungent smell still hangs there, while faint columns of smoke are still visible after the massive fire that destroyed hundreds of buildings following the earthquake.

I was relaxing on New Year's Day when the earthquake happened. My relatives were all there and we were having fun, Hiroyuki Hamatani, 53, told AFP, amid burnt out cars, destroyed buildings and fallen telegraph poles.

I have no room in my mind to think about the future. Everything is scattered in my house. Other lines might make her collapse, so I can't go back right away.

A quote from Hiroyuki Hamatani, a 53-year-old Japanese man

In Suzu, at the tip of the peninsula, mainly fishing boats were sunk or literally washed ashore by the tsunami waves, which also reportedly swept away a person.

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In Wajima, the damage caused by earthquakes is significant.

And everywhere there are numerous human tragedies. Noriaki Yachi, 79, held back tears after his wife's lifeless body was pulled from the rubble, saying: My life with her was happy, according to the Asahi daily.

Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is one of the countries where earthquakes are most frequent.

The Japanese archipelago is haunted by the memory of the terrible earthquake of magnitude 9.0 followed by a giant tsunami in March 2011 on its northeastern coasts, a disaster which left some 20,000 dead and missing.

This disaster also led to the Fukushima nuclear accident, the most serious since that of Chernobyl in 1986.

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