Yesterday, Saturday, Japanese relief teams continued to search for survivors of the violent earthquake that struck the center of the country earlier this year, leading to a new toll of at least 126 deaths and 516 injuries. Bad weather added to the difficulty of the work. According to a new count by local authorities, around 210 people are still missing. But five days after the disaster, hopes of finding survivors are increasingly dwindling. About 25,000 homes in Ishikawa are still without electricity and more than 70,000 without water. Yesterday, Saturday, more than 30,000 people sought refuge in some 366 evacuation centers, according to officials in the Ishikawa region, which includes the Noto Peninsula, in difficult conditions, particularly in hard-to-reach areas.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took to social media to pray for those killed. He deemed the earthquake, which followed hundreds of aftershocks, “the most severe disaster” in the Rewa Era, which began in 2019 when the current Japanese emperor ascended the throne. Several countries, including the United States and France, offered to help Japan, while several countries, including China and North Korea, offered condolences to Tokyo, whose leader Kim Jong Un expressed his “deepest sympathy” in a letter to the Japanese. addressed Kishida, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Ishikawa Governor Hiroshi Hase said: “We are doing our best to carry out relief operations in the isolated villages… but in reality the issue of their isolation has not been resolved as we would like.”
The 7.5-magnitude earthquake shook the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, a narrow strip of land about 100 kilometers into the Sea of Japan, triggering landslides and collapsing buildings and roads. The earthquake was strong enough to be felt by people in Tokyo, 300 kilometers away. Also, tsunami waves hit some coastal areas, and waves reaching a height of more than one meter submerged sidewalks, houses and coastal roads. Cold and inclement weather complicates the work of rescue workers. Snowfall is expected today and Sunday, while giant cracks and about a thousand landslides are disrupting road traffic. Two elderly women were rescued from the rubble of their homes in Wajima on Thursday. But no survivors have been found since then. Shiromaru, one of the small villages on the peninsula, was reduced to a pile of wood, iron and plastic debris after being hit by the tsunami on January 1. “The tsunami came down the river from Shiromaru Bay and then across the street,” Toshio Sakashida (69) told AFP, estimating that his house was submerged in about two and a half meters of water.
Yukio Teroka (82), who tried with his wife to remove the heavy and wet sand that the waves carried to their residence, said: “We can no longer live in our house.” (agencies)
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