Japanese death toll reaches 23 in Hokkaido after the recent earthquake
Sawako Uchida and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
The death toll from the recent 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Hokkaido is now 23 and fears persist that this figure will grow because some people are still missing. Sadly, the death toll in Hokkaido follows the recent typhoon that also witnessed people dying. Hence, this week is one of sorrow in various parts of Japan and this is following on from hundreds of deaths from floods, landslides, and a brutal heat wave that blighted Japan prior to the recent disasters.
Immediately after the earthquake struck Hokkaido early on Thursday, it soon became apparent that power shortages and evacuations were the norms. Indeed, it was reported that after the first 36 hours approximately 1.6 million people were still suffering from power related issues. However, progress is now easing power shortages throughout Hokkaido despite many remote areas that exist in this prefecture.
It is known that the village of Atsuma was especially hit hard. Hence, it is believed that people still remain stuck under the horrendous mud that followed the enormous landslide. Therefore, the clock is ticking relentlessly for rescue workers who still have the hope of rescuing people who are still missing.
The BBC reports, “With bad weather expected over the next days, officials are warning people to remain cautious and be prepared for aftershocks.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe uttered to ministers during a special Cabinet session, “Please give your sympathy to people who spent a dark night in fear, and do everything you can to restore electricity as soon as possible.”
The Japanese Self-Defense Forces are helping various emergency services and search and rescue missions. This support was granted immediately after Harumi Takahashi, the Governor of Hokkaido, requested for help from the central government.
Sadly, the fear remains that the final death toll will increase further from the current known 23 deaths.
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