Nearly 100 die after earthquake in Japan


The death toll following a massive earthquake that hit Japan on New Year’s Day is rising daily. A total of 94 people have already died and 222 are still missing after four days.

Two elderly women were miraculously rescued from the rubble on Thursday, but hopes of finding more survivors are fading by day with rain, snow and freezing temperatures forecast for days in the central Ishikawa region.

Thousands of rescue workers from across Japan are scrambling to reach stranded communities, but aftershocks from the 7.5 magnitude earthquake, destroyed roads and ongoing landslides are hampering those efforts.

The port city of Wajima on the Noto Peninsula is one of the worst hit areas. Clouds of smoke still hang over this city after a huge fire destroyed hundreds of houses on the first day of the earthquake.

Authorities said Friday that while more than 200 people are still missing, 20 people have been found alive in the past few days. A total of 121 are now missing in Wajima and 82 in Suzu.

The death toll rose from 92 to 94, with 464 people injured. Among the deceased is a high school boy who was visiting his family when the earthquake struck.

About 30,000 households are currently without electricity in the Ishikawa region, and 89,800 homes in the area and in two neighboring regions have no water.

Hundreds of people are housed in shelters.

“We are doing our best to carry out rescue operations in isolated villages, but the reality is that it is not so easy to get out there,” said regional governor Hiroshi Hase.

Meanwhile, the rescue operations continue.

Japan experiences hundreds of earthquakes every year and the majority cause no damage.

A massive 9.0 undersea earthquake that caused a tsunami hit Japan in 2011. Around 18,500 people are dead or missing after the giant wave hit the country.