Catastrophic Losses Reported at Earthquake Epicenter

Catastrophic Losses Reported at Earthquake Epicenter

( – The mayor of the Japanese peninsula town of Suzu, Masuhiro Izumiya, said on January 2 that 90 percent of its houses were “nearly completely or completely destroyed” after the devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake on the Noto Peninsula. The area has experienced nearly 100 aftershocks of smaller intensity since the earthquake, with geologists warning that the next aftershocks could be stronger, which would require an immediate evacuation.

During a press conference, Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said that the “tragedy” left very “extensive damage” that included not only “numerous casualties” but also fires and building collapses. He added that Japanese authorities need to race “against time” to look for and rescue earthquake victims.

So far, the Japanese government has confirmed the deaths of 94 people as a direct result of the earthquake and the subsequent fires and tsunamis. However, different media outlets have said that the true death toll could be much higher, as Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and emergency workers haven’t been able to fully access the Noto Peninsula. Photos and videos taken by locals show some of the peninsula’s main roads full of holes, covered in mud, and heavily cracked.

Fumio has already ordered the mobilization of 10,000 SDF troops to provide support to the earthquake’s victims not only by rescuing the ones who are still trapped but also by guaranteeing that survivors are sheltered, clothed, and fed. In a statement, the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the troops to take every possible measure to “support the victims” by bringing medical treatment, fuel, blankets, and food. He also called on them to restore infrastructure such as water supply and electricity.

In addition to the missing people and deaths, 57,000 people have been displaced, seeking shelter in makeshift tents or public emergency shelters. According to numerous Japanese seismology experts, the 7.6 magnitude earthquake has been the strongest one to hit the peninsula since 1885. Some of them told Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun that the fault line has already expanded, which would allow for more “heavy earthquakes” affecting a bigger part of the land.

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