• Noto Peninsula Earthquake

Death Toll Rises to 72 in Noto Peninsula Earthquake (UPDATE 1)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Smoke is seen in the center of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday morning.

The death toll in the powerful earthquakes that hit the Noto Peninsula and other areas of Ishikawa Prefecture had reached 72 people on Wednesday evening.

A total area of about 100 hectares in Suzu and Noto in the prefecture was inundated by tsunami triggered by the earthquake, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The quake registered 7, the highest level on the Japanese intensity scale, in Shika, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Aftershocks have continued in the affected areas, and rain began to fall Tuesday night. The Japan Meteorological Agency is calling for residents to be on alert regarding landslides and other disasters.

Of the 72 deaths, 39 were in Wajima, 22 in Suzu, five in Nanao, two each in Anamizu and Noto, and one each in Hakui and Shika.

According to a tally by The Yomiuri Shimbun, as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a total of 372 people had been injured in seven prefectures, including Ishikawa and Toyama. There were 34,297 evacuees in the three prefectures of Ishikawa, Toyama and Niigata, with Ishikawa accounting for 33,446.

Many houses and buildings were damaged, with a total of 186 structures confirmed to be completely or partially collapsed in the three prefectures.

A total of 114,796 households remained without water — 95,359 in Ishikawa, 19,100 in Toyama and 337 in Niigata. In the Ishikawa cities of Wajima and Suzu, the municipal governments and other entities began supplying water on Wednesday.

According to the weather agency, a series of aftershocks occurred in and around the Noto area, with a total of 479 quakes measuring 1 or higher on the Japanese seismic intensity scale observed by 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Among these quakes, a tremor registering upper 5 was recorded in Suzu at about 2:21 a.m. on Wednesday, and Wajima was also hit with a quake with the same intensity at about 10:54 a.m. on the day.

Also Wednesday, the ministry said tsunami had inundated coastal areas totaling about 100 hectares in Suzu and Noto, an area equivalent to 21 Tokyo Domes. The area of inundation may change with future information.

According to the weather agency, rain began to fall in the Hokuriku region on Tuesday night due to a low-pressure system moving along the Sea of Japan side. The agency issued a heavy rain warning for Wajima shortly after 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

The rain has been forecast to intensify in Ishikawa Prefecture from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning. Thunderstorms are expected in some locations.