WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocks Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture just days after Typhoon Jebi, the country’s most powerful storm in 25 years.
- The quake caused multiple landslides, mudslides, and power outages, halting all travel operations.
- The devastation has killed at least nine, while dozens more were injured, missing, or buried in landslides.
A deadly 6.7-magnitude quake plunged Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture into darkness as power systems were disabled after 3 am today. At least nine were killed while dozens more were buried in landslides.
Multiple large-scale landslides destroyed dozens of houses, while a rescue helicopter winched residents to safety. Roads were ruptured and houses were knocked askew, while mudslides left several cars half buried.
A damaged thermal plant left more than five million without power and halted all travel operations. Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said it would take “at least a week” to restore power.
Meanwhile, the island’s only nuclear power plant, which was offline, switched to a backup generator to keep its fuel cool for 10 hours. Nuclear regulators assured there was no sign of abnormal radiation.
All this happened after Japan was still recovering from yesterday’s devastation by Typhoon Jebi – the country’s most powerful storm in a quarter of a century.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that up to 25,000 troops and personnel would be dispatched to Hokkaido to assist in rescue operations, with the promise that “We will do our best to save lives.”
The initial quake was followed by a 5.3 aftershock, and dozens more followed throughout the night and into the morning.
Meanwhile, no tsunami warning was issued since only a relatively shallow quake struck 62 kilometers (39 miles) southeast of the regional capital Sapporo.
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga stated that around 20,000 rescue workers, police, and members of the Self-Defence Forces responded to the disaster, with another 20,000 SDF troops expected to follow.
According to an NHK report, at least eight people were killed, six of whom were engulfed by the landslide in the Atsuma village. Nearly 40 people are still missing. Among the dead is an 82-year-old man who fell down the stairs at his home during the quake, while about 130 people had minor injuries.
While Japan is used to dealing with disasters, the last few months have brought a deadly string of calamities:
- On June 18, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Osaka killed five people and injured more than 400;
- In July, torrential rains caused landslides in western Japan, claiming 221 lives and forcing more than 1,500 to live in shelters until now;
- Around July 23, deadly temperatures reaching up to 41.1°C in Kumagaya caused at least 116 deaths;
- On September 4, Typhoon Jebi ripped off building roofs, tossed heavy vehicles, flooded one of Japan’s busiest airports, and killed eleven;
- And now, on September 6, the 6.7-magnitude earthquake has already killed at least nine.
Officials urge people to stay calm, help each other, and be vigilant for possible aftershocks, heavy rains, high tides, tsunamis, and landslides.
Source: Daily Mail