Help for Hokkaido
Yet another natural disaster has struck part of Japan, continuing a summer of chaos that has seen the country weather deadly floods, typhoons, earthquakes, landslides and heatwaves.
At least 9 people were killed in Thursday’s earthquake, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday.
The government had previously said 16 people died, but Suga told reporters later that this figure was incorrect and officials had mistakenly also counted those who suffered heart attacks due to the quake.
Search and rescue teams are still looking for 26 people missing in the western town of Atsuma in Hokkaido Prefecture. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that more than 22,000 people were involved in the rescue efforts, as the northern island still deals with the after effects of the magnitude-6.6 quake, which caused landslides that buried homes and other buildings.
Electricity was restored to around 1.4 million buildings as of Friday morning, Abe added, around half of all of those which initially lost power.
More than 150 people were injured by the quake, mostly in Sapporo, said Kazuya Isaki, an official with the Crisis Management Office of Hokkaido Prefecture Government. Dozens of people were reported missing in Atsuma, near the epicenter of the quake, where four of the deaths occurred.
Public broadcaster NHK reported that flights and public transport across the region had been brought to a standstill.
Nearly 3 million households lost power, according to the Hokkaido Electric Power Company. Officials said a main power station lost operations, affecting other sites. Independently owned power generators were assisting.
Police, in blue with yellow uniform, search for missing persons around a house destroyed by a landslide after a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. Several people were reported missing in the nearby the town, where a massive landslide engulfed homes in an avalanche of soil, rocks and timber. (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)