Thursday 18 October 2018
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1 months ago

Rescuers with dogs search for survivors after deadly Japan quake

TOKYO - 7 September 2018: 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.

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

It was an anxious night with several aftershocks, but we took encouragement from being together and now we re grateful for some food, one woman told public broadcaster NHK.

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.

We will devote all our energy to saving lives, Abe said.

As of Friday afternoon, Hokkaido Electric Power Co had restored power to 1.54 million of the island s 2.95 million households. The utility aimed to raise that number to 2.4 million, or over 80 percent, by the end of Friday, industry minister Hiroshige Seko said.

Flights resumed from midday at Hokkaido s main airport, New Chitose. The island, about the size of Austria and with 5.3 million people, is a popular tourist destination known for its mountains, lakes, rolling farmland and seafood.
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