TOKYO: At least 100 people have died and 211 other remain missing since a series of powerful earthquakes struck Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture on New Year’s Day, with authorities fearing more casualties as rescue and search efforts intensified on Saturday.
The worst-hit city of Wajima confirmed 59 deaths as of Saturday morning, with reports of some 100 people being buried and trapped under debris of collapsed buildings, reports Xinhua news agency citing local media and the prefectural authorities.
Aftershocks still jolt the region, and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said a 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit Ishkawa’s Noto Peninsula at 5.25 a.m. on Saturday at a depth of 10 km, measuring upper 5 on the country’s seismic intensity scale of 7.
With rain expected on Saturday for the region, the JMA warned local residents to stay alert for possible mudslides.
Infrastructure has suffered severe damage in Ishikawa, with around 24,000 households facing power outages and 66,000 households left without water in 14 cities and towns, national news agency Kyodo reported.
On Monday, the series of strong earthquakes, with the strongest one measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck at a shallow depth.
Centered around 30 km east-northeast of Wajima, the devastating quake registered a maximum intensity of 7. (IANS)