Death Toll From Japan Quakes Rises to 32, More Trapped, Thousands Homeless
The death toll continues to rise in Japan following the 7-magnitude earthquake that hit the southwestern island of Kyushu. Large masses of emergency forces have been called in from across the country to help evacuate those trapped under the ruins.
After Second Quake Rocks Japan, Many Wonder If There Are More Coming
The death toll continues to rise from two earthquakes that struck Japan within two days killing 32 so far, and injuring over 1,500, 80 of them seriously, said chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga. The current estimate is that more that a hundred people are still trapped under the rubble and over 9,000 people have been forced from their homes.
Vast emergency and rescue forces continue efforts to evacuate those trapped under collapsed buildings after a 7 magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s southwestern island Kyushu. The massive earthquake was the second to hit Japan in the last few days, after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the country just two days ago. Hundreds of aftershocks were recorded following the main quake, some of them at a magnitude of more than 5.
Officials say 400,000 households are in need of drinking water after water systems failed, and 200,000 homes are without electricity.
Poor weather is also severely complicating rescue and recovery efforts, since intense rain is creating landslides in rural areas. Landslides have already cut off roads and destroyed bridges, slowing down rescuers.
On Saturday afternoon, a massive landslide tore open a mountainside in Minamiaso village destroying a key bridge that could cut off food and other relief support to the worst hit area, according to Associated Press.
Another landslide gnawed at a highway, collapsing a house that fell down a ravine and smashed at the bottom.
“Nothing is more important than human lives, and this is a race against the clock,” said Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on his way to view the disaster. “Daytime today is the big test” for rescue efforts, he said, citing strong winds and intense rain in the forecast.
Japanese TV is airing heartbreaking footage, including a collapsed student dormitory of Tokai University, where a witness said he heard a cry for help from the rubble. Two students were reported to have died.
ABC reported that an unconscious elderly woman was dragged out from the debris of her home. Her son-in-law Tatsuhiko Sakata told Japanese TV that 93-year-old Yumiko Yamauchi had refused to move to shelter with him after the first quake Thursday.
“When I came to see her last night, I was asking her: ‘Mother? I’m here! Do you remember me? Do you remember my face?’ and she replied with a huge smile filled with joy. A kind of smile that I would never forget. And that was the last I saw of her,” Sakata said.
VIDEO: Dramatic Footage Of Second Japan Earthquake Rescue Efforts
Many people will chose to spend the night under the open sky fearing more quakes that would cause more buildings to collapse on them. The ancient Kumamoto Castle, built 400 years ago, was also badly damaged during the earthquake.
Join Us In The Chatroom To Discuss This Article ~
[flyzoo-embed-chatroom id=’57122a6dbb547e1cac8e3681′ width=’auto’ height=’640px’]
sources: Youtube, Reuters, ABC News, MSN