A total of 35 people have been confirmed dead, two others in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, and three remain missing, in the wake of a powerful earthquake, that rocked Hokkaido Prefecture, in northern Japan days ago, local authorities said.
According to local governments, a total of 31 people in the town of Atsuma, one of the hardest-hit areas, by the 6.7-magnitude quake, have been confirmed dead. Meanwhile, four men in the cities of Sapporo and Tomakomai, and the towns of Mukawa and Shinhidaka, respectively, were also confirmed dead.
About 640 others across the prefecture have reportedly been injured, while rescuers race against time to search for the unaccounted. At one point, after the powerful quake, on Thursday, which logged the maximum 7 on Japan's seismic intensity scale, some 2.95 million homes in Hokkaido were without electricity, as the whole prefecture suffered a power outage.
According to Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc., as of Saturday night, power supply has almost been fully restored, except for a few hundreds' households. On the other side, the government and the power company also called for homes and offices already with power to cut usage, with risks that power supply would be unable to meet the peak demand during weekdays.
New Chitose Airport, the main gateway to Hokkaido, has resumed international flights Saturday, after it restarted services for domestic flights the previous day, though many passengers were unable to book seats on flights to get out of Hokkaido, due to the masses of people waiting to leave.
While hundreds of aftershocks have followed, since the powerful quake, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned that earthquakes with a similar magnitude could still occur in the area, during the week. As heavy rain is expected to hit some of the quake-hit areas from Sunday, the JMA also warned about possible landslides and other secondary disasters.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK