232 confirmed dead in January 1 Japan earthquake
TOKYO — At least 232 people have been confirmed dead in the devastating 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture on January 1, local officials said on Wednesday.
According to the prefectural government, the death toll was updated on Wednesday morning after an additional 10 casualties was reported by the city of Wajima, one of the worst-hit by the massive temblor, reports Xinhua news agency.
Local authorities said these fatalities were discovered in the vicinity of the Wajima Morning Market, a popular tourist spot that suffered extensive damage in the earthquake-triggered fires immediately following the seismic event.
Since last week, the Wajima Morning Market has been the focus of large-scale search and rescue operations.
The number of individuals unaccounted for has decreased by one, leaving Wajima city with 17 missing persons and Suzu city with four, totaling 21 people.
According to local media reports, the damage to residences has reached a staggering 22,374 confirmed cases, and there is a high likelihood that the number of affected buildings will significantly increase as further assessments are conducted.
In cities of Wajima and Suzu, the extent of the damage is still described as “numerous”, with the actual situation remaining unclear, reported national news agency Kyodo.
The January 1 temblor, officially named 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake, is the first to kill more than 100 people in the country since the 2016 Kumamoto tremors in Japan’s southwestern region, which claimed 276 lives.