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Business News/ News / World/  Japan earthquake: Toll hits 48 as rescuers race to find survivors in isolated zones
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Japan earthquake: Toll hits 48 as rescuers race to find survivors in isolated zones

Rescue efforts are underway in Japan following a powerful earthquake on New Year's Day that has killed at least 48 people.
  • The earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6, caused buildings to collapse, roads to be wrecked, and power to be cut to tens of thousands of homes.
  • According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, more than 140 tremors were detected since the quake first hit on Monday (AP)Premium
    According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, more than 140 tremors were detected since the quake first hit on Monday (AP)

    The death toll has surged to 48 after the earthquake jolted Japan on New Year's Day. Meanwhile, rescuers are scrabbling to find quake survivors in isolated areas as quake toppled multiple buildings, roads caved in and power outages extended for hours.

    Thousands of Japanese army personnel, firefighters, and police officers from across the country have been dispatched to the worst-hit area in the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture to rescue the survivors of the earthquake.

    The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 has killed 48 people as per the authorities in Ishikawa with half of those fatalities in hard-hit Wajima city near the quake's epicentre.

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    According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, more than 140 tremors were detected since the quake first hit on Monday. The agency has warned more strong shocks could hit in the coming days.

    The Japanese government has sent around 10,000 quake survivors to sports halls and school gymnasiums, commonly used as evacuation centres in emergencies.

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    At present, around 33,000 households remained without power in Ishikawa on Tuesday.

    The earthquake comes at a sensitive time for Japan's nuclear industry, which has faced fierce opposition from some locals since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima.

    Last week Japan lifted an operational ban imposed on the world's biggest nuclear plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, which has been offline since the 2011 tsunami.

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    The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no irregularities were found at nuclear plants along the Sea of Japan, including five active reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi and Takahama plants in Fukui Prefecture.

    Hokuriku Electric's Shika plant, the closest to the epicentre, has also been idled since 2011. The company said there had been some power outages and oil leaks following Monday's jolt but no radiation leakage.

    The company had previously said it hoped to restart the reactor in 2026.

    Chip equipment maker Kokusai Electric said it is investigating further after finding some damage at its factory in Toyama ahead of the planned resumption of operations on Thursday.

    Companies including Sharp, Komatsu, and Toshiba have been checking whether their factories in the area have been damaged.

    (With Reuters inputs)

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    Published: 02 Jan 2024, 11:39 AM IST
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