Death toll mounts to 39 in Japan quake

Tokyo: The death toll in the earthquake that struck Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido last week has risen to 39, authorities said on Sunday.

According to Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency, rescue operations are underway, with over 7,000 members of various emergency service continuing the search with a hope to find survivors. While two persons still remain missing, 641 people have sustained injuries in the tremor. More than 2,500 others are in evacuation centres, CNN reported.

On September 6, the quake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale, originated at a depth of 40 kilometres below southern Hokkaido, jolting the island for nearly a minute. Subsequent powerful tremors led to the collapse of several houses and caused landslides, wiping out other buildings and affecting land transport.

In Atsuma city, which was the nearest to the epicentre of the quake, landslides buried houses of nearly 40 people.

The earthquake also left about three million Japanese households without power. However, electricity was restored by the authorities in half of their homes over the weekend.

The quake comes as Japan is still reeling under the effects of Typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to hit the nation in 25 years on September 4, due to which at least 10 lives were lost.