The 7.6-magnitude earthquake that shook the western coast of central Japan on Monday killed at least 73 people, according to the new toll announced by local authorities yesterday, while rescue efforts intensify to find survivors under the runa in extremely poor conditions.
In towns like Wajima, Noto and Suzu, all close to the epicenter, local councils have increased their estimates of the number of collapsed homes, so rescue equipment has also doubled before the 72-hour limit is reached, after which it is almost impossible to find people alive.
Authorities again warned that the death toll could be higher because many people were still trapped under the rubble after dozens of homes collapsed and warned that the situation could worsen in the coming days due to rain. Continued aftershocks and debris on damaged roads and tracks are hampering rescue operations to find survivors.
Worrying about rain
Ishikawa Governor Hiroshi Hase explained that roads were cut off in large areas due to landslides or cracks, while “multiple” boats capsized in the port of Suzu. Added to these difficulties are the heavy rains that began falling yesterday in one of the most affected areas, the Noto Peninsula, and the Japanese Meteorological Agency warned of the risk of landslides. Health authorities announced that people affected by the earthquake will be able to obtain essential medicines without the need for a prior prescription. This measure will be applied in cases where access to health centers is difficult. This way, patients will be able to contact their doctors by phone.
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