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    “Japan’s PM Assures Ongoing Support Despite Snow’s Impact on Earthquake Rescue”


    Rescue Efforts Hindered by Snow as Japan Earthquake Toll Rises

    Japan’s Prime Minister has pledged unwavering aid to regions devastated by the New Year’s Day earthquake, as snow and sleet create challenges for rescue and recovery missions. Reports from local media indicate the disaster has claimed at least 126 lives, with 222 individuals still missing.

    The adverse weather, notably on the Noto peninsula, continues to impede relief efforts. Survivors at the quake’s epicenter, a magnitude 7.6 event that rendered over 30,000 homeless and disrupted power for tens of thousands, are grappling with harsh conditions. Forecasts predict more heavy snow or rain overnight in the affected region.

    Television footage from NHK exhibits construction trucks excavating dirt mounds up to almost 10 feet high to unearth homes buried by landslides.

    Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the urgency of rescuing those trapped and addressing isolated areas as top priorities during an NHK program. He underscored the commitment to persistent reconstruction and recovery efforts without letting budget constraints impede aid to affected regions.

    Earlier, Kishida announced tapping into 4.74 billion yen ($32.77 million) from budget reserves for reconstruction.

    Ishikawa Prefecture’s governor declared a state of emergency, labeling the quake an unprecedented disaster for the region. In Wajima city, a line of cars queued for fuel at a petrol station as supply gradually resumed.

    Prefectural authorities dispatched trailers equipped with flushable toilets to evacuation centers, especially in Wajima, where water supply restoration has just commenced.

    At a shelter near Wajima’s renowned “Asaichi” morning market, where the quake razed buildings, evacuees stood in line to transport water to higher floors. Although some have left as electricity returns to parts of the city, the shelter remains at full capacity, unable to accommodate new evacuees, according to the center’s receptionist.

    Sources By Agencies

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