World

Search continues after deadly Japan quake

7 September 2018 - 16   - 0

TOKYO (Reuters) - Rescue workers with dogs searched for survivors on Friday in debris-strewn landslides caused by an earthquake in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, as electricity was restored to just over half of households.

Public broadcaster NHK put the death toll at 12, with five people unresponsive. Earlier, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 16 had died, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga later clarified in updated numbers that nine had been confirmed dead and nine others were in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, a term typically used before death is confirmed. Another 24 were still missing after Thursday’s pre-dawn magnitude-6.7 quake, the latest deadly natural disaster to hit Japan over the past two months, coming after typhoons, floods and a record-breaking heat wave.

A woman (C) wipes her tears after her missing father was found at an area damaged by a landslide caused by an earthquake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, Northern Japan

Nearly 5,000 Hokkaido residents spent the night in evacuation centers where food was distributed in the morning. 

Some 22,000 rescue workers had worked through the night to search for survivors, Abe told an emergency meeting on Friday. With rain forecast for Friday afternoon and Saturday, he urged people to be careful about loose soil that could cause unstable houses to collapse or further landslides.

 

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