Deadly 6.7 earthquake shakes northern Japan, downpours to hinder rescue efforts
A magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, at approximately 3:07 a.m. Thursday and was followed by a magnitude 5.3 quake less than 20 minutes later, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Residents of Hokkaido awoke to powerful shaking early Thursday morning as the quake caused numerous landslides and homes to collapse.
Reports indicate 39 fatalities due to the quake, according to The Japan Times. More than 7,000 rescuers continue the search for survivors.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said around 300 additional injuries were reported across Hokkaido due to the earthquake.
Nearly 29.5 million homes were left without power following the quake, according to The japan Times. Power was slowly being restored to most areas by Saturday.
On Friday morning, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said 191 hospitals were still without power, and 51 were still without water.
Seko said that it could take more than a week to fully restore power to all areas.
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The epicenter was 16 miles from the city of Chitose, home to Hokkaido's main airport and fifth busiest hub in Japan. A ceiling collapse and power outage resulted in closure of the airport for the entire day on Thursday and Friday.
The airport resumed international flights on Saturday.
Damaged roadways and landslides caused severe travel disruption on Thursday. Bullet train service was also affected.
No tsunami was reported following the earthquake.
Saturday was a largely dry day, though rain returned to to southern and eastern Hokkaido Saturday night and is forecast to continue on and off through Monday.
While the heaviest rain will stay off to the south across much of Honshu, with rainfall totals in Hokkaido expected to be less than 50 mm (2 inches), any rainfall could hamper rescue and recovery efforts and could cause additional landslides.
The heavier rain off to the south, will bring days of downpours in the wake of former Typhoon Jebi, further heightening the risk for flooding.
地震が凄くて道路が… pic.twitter.com/KUBudp524R— みお@札幌だよ やきう株競馬 (@miodayou) September 5, 2018
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 and a number of aftershocks rocked Japan's #Hokkaido prefecture, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said, with one person found with no vital signs. https://t.co/jymbttz1QO pic.twitter.com/zlZH7zqzsV— China News 中国新闻网 (@Echinanews) September 6, 2018
本震(震度5強)来た時はこんな感じなりましたよ。冷蔵庫直したけど pic.twitter.com/TiZ846SKoh— 工藤 たくみ (@kudotakumidesu) September 5, 2018
My friends. We just had a major #earthquake here in Japan. #Hokkaido. #Sapporo. We are in the dark, but otherwise fine. Omg! It was humongous. No information on magnitude. Internet still works for now.— Licia (@CSKawai) September 5, 2018
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