Japan earthquake death climbs to 92, 242 still missing

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Photo source: Japan News

Delhi, Jan 05: The death toll from a powerful earthquake in central Japan has climbed to 92, and there are concerns for the well-being of at least 242 individuals who are currently missing, as reported by regional authorities on Friday. Despite the heroic rescue of two elderly women from the wreckage, hopes of finding additional survivors are diminishing. The 7.5-magnitude quake struck on New Year’s Day, and with four days elapsed, rescue efforts involving thousands of responders from across Japan are racing against time.

The affected Ishikawa region faces significant challenges, with aftershocks and damaged roads obstructed by landslides, making it difficult for rescuers to reach stranded communities. The port city of Wajima on the Noto Peninsula suffered severe consequences, with a lingering smell of soot and visible columns of smoke from a substantial fire that razed hundreds of structures on the initial day of the disaster.

Despite the valiant efforts of rescue teams, approximately 30,000 households in the Ishikawa region are without electricity, and 89,800 homes in Ishikawa and two adjacent regions lack access to water. Numerous individuals have sought refuge in government shelters.

The Suzu area also experienced devastation, with tsunami waves sinking fishing boats and lifting others onto the shore like toys. The region has witnessed an escalation in the strength and frequency of earthquakes over the past five years, although Japan, accustomed to numerous earthquakes annually, has stringent building codes in place for over four decades to minimize damage.

The disaster rekindles memories of Japan’s traumatic experience with a massive 9.0-magnitude undersea quake in 2011, triggering a tsunami that claimed around 18,500 lives and caused a catastrophic nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima plant, marking one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.



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