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World|environment|January 3, 2024 / 09:34 AM
62 people confirmed dead in Ishikawa, Japan due to massive quake

AKIPRESS.COM - Central Japan continues to be rocked by earthquakes following the deadly magnitude 7.6 temblor on New Year's Day, NHK reported.

Rescue operations are ongoing in hard-hit Ishikawa Prefecture, where officials say 62 people are confirmed dead. Tens of thousands remain without electricity.

It's feared many are trapped under collapsed houses.

Officials warn that aftershocks of similar intensity may occur this week.

City officials in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, say 25 houses have collapsed. Firefighters were seen using power-saws to enter collapsed buildings to free those trapped inside.

Quake-triggered fires also destroyed about 200 houses in Wajima.

In nearby Suzu City, officials confirmed more than 50 houses have been leveled. On Tuesday morning, an NHK helicopter captured images of chairs in a Suzu parking lot arranged to spell out SOS. Hospitals in both Wajima and Suzu have been treating the injured.

Thousands of people in affected prefectures are also still sheltering at evacuation centers.

Water supplies in some areas have been cut off. Residents have been lining up to receive drinking water.

The quake also triggered mudslides that severed major roads in both cities.

Some roads remain closed.

A seismologist with Kyoto University, Goto Hiroyuki, says several short tremors followed Monday's quake.

Goto says wooden structures are susceptible to their high-frequency vibrations.

He says there could therefore be extensive damage from Monday's quake.

Officials are urging people to recognize the potential for earthquakes with an intensity of 7 on the Japanese scale over the next 7 days or so. The Japanese scale runs from 0 to 7, with 7 being the strongest.

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