30 Deaths Officially Recognized as Noto Quake-Related

KANAZAWA (Jiji Press) — The Ishikawa prefectural government said Thursday that 30 applications for authorities’ recognition as deaths indirectly caused by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake have been accepted.

With the first official recognition of disaster-related fatalities, the death toll from the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit hard the central Japan prefecture on Jan. 1 rose to 260.

The applications—14 from the city of Suzu, nine from the city of Wajima and seven from the town of Noto—were granted at the first joint examining panel meeting held on May 14 by the prefectural and municipal governments involved.

Of the 30 people who died for indirect causes, 22 were in their 60s or older, the Ishikawa government said, adding that age-related information for the other eight people has not been made public.

Among direct causes cited for the Noto quake-related deaths are mental and physical stresses posed by evacuation life and deterioration in underlying conditions.

The official tally of such deaths will inevitably go up, and so will the overall fatality count, as more than 100 applications have yet to be screened, people familiar with the matter said.