94 Die In Japan Earthquake, 222 Missing

Amid challenging weather conditions and damaged roads, Japanese search and rescue teams continued their efforts on Friday to locate 222 individuals still missing, following a powerful earthquake that has resulted in nearly 100 confirmed deaths.

Despite the remarkable rescue of two elderly women on Thursday, prospects of finding more survivors after the 7.5 magnitude quake on New Year’s Day were diminishing due to predicted rain, snow, and dropping temperatures in the upcoming days.

Rescuers from across Japan have been confronting aftershocks and navigating treacherous roads, marred by extensive damage and frequent landslides in the central Ishikawa region, striving to reach hundreds of stranded residents in isolated communities.

By Thursday afternoon, 72 hours post-quake, two elderly women were miraculously extracted alive from the remnants of their homes in Wajima, with credit attributed to a search dog for one of the rescues.

Wajima, situated on the Noto Peninsula, bore the brunt of the devastation, marked by a lingering smell of soot and faint wisps of smoke arising from a massive fire that razed hundreds of structures on the initial day.

Authorities updated the count of missing individuals to 222 on Friday afternoon, down from an earlier 242, with 121 in Wajima and 82 in Suzu.

The death toll rose to 94 from 92, accompanied by 464 reported injuries. Tragically, among the deceased was a junior high school boy who was visiting his family, as per reports.

Approximately 30,000 households faced power outages in the Ishikawa region, while 89,800 homes in neighboring areas lacked access to water. Numerous individuals sought refuge in government shelters.

The nation grapples with the haunting memory of the catastrophic 9.0 magnitude undersea quake in 2011, which triggered a tsunami, claiming approximately 18,500 lives. Additionally, the disaster led to the inundation of the Fukushima nuclear plant, precipitating one of history’s most severe nuclear crises.


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