| 8 December 2023, Friday |

Over 50 aftershocks jolt Japan a day after powerful earthquake

A day after a powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck the nation, killing one and leaving scores injured, Japan recorded more than 50 aftershocks on Saturday.
Japan’s disaster management agency said that approximately 55 aftershocks, some of them strong, hit on Saturday morning, as it warned that heavy rain could trigger landslides in affected areas.
The 6.5 magnitude quake hit the central Ishikawa region mid-afternoon on Friday at a depth of 12 kilometres (seven miles), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

At least 23 people had been injured, the agency said. The deceased was identified as a 65-year-old man who he fell from a ladder during the earthquake.

“Our staff are out checking damage from the quake,” an official from Suzu in Ishikawa prefecture, the hardest-hit city, told AFP.

Around 1,630 residents of Suzu have been evacuated, with about 250 taking shelter in evacuation centres, Jiji news agency reported late Saturday.

Over 100 households in the region were without running water as of Saturday afternoon, and roads were closed in many areas, the agency added.

The city had provided temporary public supplies after running water had turned brown in parts of the region, officials said earlier.

Clips surfaced online of the tremors showed a grocery shop strewn with broken wine bottles and other products that had fallen from shelves.
Some residents were seen clearing rubble in the rain after their wooden houses were partially destroyed.

“I asked a carpenter for a makeshift fix of the house, and the house is now covered with a blue tarp to protect it from rainwater,” one man told public broadcaster NHK.

Bullet trains connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture were temporarily halted on Friday for safety checks, but resumed with some delays, East Japan Railway Co said.

Train services in other regions were disrupted following the quake, as passengers were out during a public holiday in Japan, part of a run of days off known as “Golden Week” when many people travel for leisure or to visit family.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who recently returned from a tour to four African nations and Singapore, on Friday had expressed his condolences to the bereaved family.

“I express my heartfelt condolences to the person who died and offer my sympathies to those who were hit by the disaster,” Kishida said.

“The government will continue taking measures with a sense of urgency while closely communicating with (officials) at the scene,” Kishida told reporters.

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