Death toll after Japan earthquake rises to 24

The Asian country’s weather agency has lifted the tsunami alert, although people have been urged to exercise caution at sea as tide levels are likely to change over the coming days.

The death toll rises to 24 after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that shook the west coast of Japan on New Year’s Day. as authorities continue relief efforts following an earthquake that caused extensive property damage.

The majority of deaths were recorded in the city of Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture, although the effects also extend to the prefectures of Niigata, Fukui, Toyama and Gifu, reports the Kiodo News news agency.

Authorities scrambled to assess the damage, but aftershocks and lingering debris hampered search and rescue efforts. Following the earthquake, Several buildings collapsed and a large fire broke out. near a market in Wajima, where around 200 buildings burned.

Japan Meteorological Agency the tsunami alert has been lifted even if he urged the population to be careful at sea because tide level is likely to change over the next few days .

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for a “emergency disaster response headquarters ” under his leadership and announced the mobilization of the country’s security and emergency forces, while confirming “very large-scale damage including numerous human casualties, building collapses and fires.

“The first thing we need to do is understand the situation on the ground. “Since last night we have been doing our best to gather information, but due to road closures it is extremely difficult to enter the northern part of the Noto Peninsula,” he detailed.

Kishida, who estimated the number of troops participating in the rescue operations at around 1,000, said that “as time passes, the effects of the disaster become more and more evident” and warned that “Saving the lives of disaster victims is a race against time “.

The earthquake, with a hypocenter around ten kilometers deep, This is the most intense in a chain of 20 earthquakes recorded between 08/06 and 09/29. hours close to the coast of Ishikawa and neighboring Niigata Prefecture.

Source: Latercera

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