At least 48 people were killed in the devastating earthquake that struck western Japan on Monday, authorities said a day after the disaster, scavenging through the rubble of collapsed and burnt buildings.
The dead included 19 people in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, the epicenter of the coastal epicenter, which triggered tsunami warnings, mass evacuations and widespread power outages after it struck around 4:10 p.m. on New Year’s Day. There has occurred.
A large-scale fire broke out in Wajima City after the earthquake registered a magnitude 7 on the Japanese seismic scale. Some people died after being trapped in the rubble of destroyed buildings.
The tsunami warning was lifted on Tuesday morning, and the earthquake did not cause waves as high as initially feared. Police, fire departments, and the Self-Defense Forces are still investigating the damage, with buckling roads and charred houses and commercial facilities.
According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi, about 33,000 homes in Ishikawa Prefecture and neighboring Niigata Prefecture were without power on Tuesday morning. Nearly 20,000 homes in four prefectures are without water supply. Hayashi said 57,360 people have been evacuated from their homes and taken shelter in about 1,000 different evacuation facilities across the affected prefectures.
He said authorities were continuing to search for people buried under rubble after 120 similar incidents were reported to local police and fire departments, raising the possibility that the death toll would rise further. . Hayashi said that no abnormalities have been reported from nuclear power plants in the affected prefectures.
Authorities warned residents in the affected areas to prepare for more aftershocks, landslides and new tsunami warnings. Noriko Kamaya of the Japan Meteorological Agency told reporters at a press conference Tuesday morning that there was a 10 to 20 percent chance that an earthquake of similar strength would occur next week. She urged residents to be careful when engaging in fishing and other activities at sea.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Tuesday that teams were working to clear roads closed due to landslides and damaged buildings. He also said retailers are providing water, food, blankets and portable toilets to people in evacuation centers.
Miharu Nishiyama I contributed a report from Tokyo.