Monday, February 26, 2024
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Deadly Quake Devastates Japan: Rescuers Race Against Time as Death Toll Rises to 62

As the death toll from the strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake that slammed Ishikawa prefecture on Honshu’s main island grows to at least 62, rescuers in Japan are working against time to locate survivors. The Monday earthquake started fires, sent over a meter-high tsunamis, and seriously damaged many roadways. Hundreds of structures were destroyed by fire in the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa, and houses were leveled in places like Wajima and Suzu.
 
Over 300 injuries and 62 confirmed deaths were recorded by the regional administration; however, as rescuers struggle with strong winds and tremors, the death toll is expected to rise. Tens of thousands of homes reportedly destroyed, according to media estimates, and over 31,800 individuals seeking refuge.
 
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida praised the expanded employment of soldiers and rescue dogs while emphasizing the importance of rescue operations. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a severe rain warning, raising fears of landslides in the affected area.
Nearly no houses are standing, according to Suzu Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya, and a woman in the town of Shika voiced dread and insomnia as a result of the aftershocks. In Ishikawa, some 34,000 households are still without electricity, and several communities are reporting water shortages.
 
Despite the extensive devastation, some of the harm has been limited thanks to public warnings disseminated via phones and broadcasts, as well as the quick action of the public and authorities. Following thousands of stranded people, mobility has been made easier with the return of Shinkansen bullet trains and highways.
 
According to University of Tokyo professor Toshitaka Katada, the people in the area were well-prepared because they had previously planned for earthquakes and had emergency supplies and evacuation preparations in place. The Japan Meteorological Agency has recorded approximately 400 seismic events in the region with an earthquake magnitude of 7.6.
 
According to a government research, earthquake activity in the Noto Peninsula has steadily increased since 2018, even though Japan is accustomed to numerous earthquakes. The nation’s horrific past includes the Fukushima nuclear accident and the 9.0 magnitude underwater earthquake that struck in 2011, causing a catastrophic tsunami that claimed the lives of over 18,500 people or left them missing.

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