Friday, March 1, 2024

Japan quake: 48 killed, rescue workers underway

At least 48 people were killed in a series of earthquakes that struck Japan on New Year’s Day, according to reports.

The biggest quake of magnitude 7.6 erupted 42 kilometres northeast of Anamizu town on the Noto Peninsula in the Ishikawa prefecture, causing a tsunami that destroyed buildings, sparked a large port fire, and tore apart roadways.

Local authorities verified the number of dead as 48, with at least 15 killed in Wajima, Ishikawa. The officials, however, stated that the figure was expected to climb. According to the Associated Press, sixteen people were critically injured.

The quake’s damage to buildings, roads, and boats was so widespread that it could not be measured quickly, according to authorities. Thousands of households were left without power as temperatures dropped below freezing. Many cities lack running water and cell phone coverage.

The first quake, which began around 4.10 p.m. local time on Monday, was shallow, with a depth of 10 km, according to the US Geological Survey, shallow earthquakes are more dangerous.

Tremors from the quake were also detected in many country locations, including Tokyo.

There were also tsunami warnings for the prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama, Fukui, and Yamagata, as well as the northern section of Hyogo. However, Japan later lifted the alert but warned coastal residents not to return home since dangerous waves could still hit.

As many as 1000 houses may have been destroyed in the coastal town of Suzu, according to its Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya.

“Very extensive damage has been confirmed, including numerous casualties, building collapses, and fires,” said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following a disaster response meeting. “We have to race against time to search for and rescue victims of the disaster,” he added.

As stated by Kishida, rescuers were having difficulty reaching the northern tip of the peninsula because helicopter scans revealed numerous flames and severe damage to structures and infrastructure. According to a government official, approximately 120 cases of persons are awaiting rescue in the region.

In a report from Reuters, a crew of 3,000 Army personnel, firefighters, and police officers has been dispatched to the quake site on the peninsula to conduct rescue operations.

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