Police Continue Search for Missing Persons in Ishikawa Pref. amid Snowfall (Update 1)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Police officers search for missing persons in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Monday morning.

Police officers searched for people whose whereabouts remain unconfirmed around collapsed houses amid snowfall in the Otanimachi district in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Monday. The district was at one point cut-off after the Noto Peninsula Earthquake struck.

More than 100 evacuees still live at Otani Elementary and Junior High School, which has been turned into a shelter.

As weather is predicted to worsen on Tuesday, the district may become inaccessible again if snow obstructs traffic and covers roads that have caved in and become extremely uneven.

A 68-year-old man living at the shelter expressed his concern, saying, “As there is only one road leading to the central part of the city, I would be unable to shop for necessary goods if snow blocks the road.”

Death toll rises to 222

The death toll in Ishikawa Prefecture following the Jan. 1 temblor rose to 222 as of 2:00 p.m. Monday, according to the prefectural government. Of that number, 14 were classified as disaster-related deaths due to the victims’ deteriorating physical health as a result of the evacuation.

Suzu recorded 99 deaths, the largest of the municipalities, with 88 in Wajima, 20 in Anamizu, 7 in Noto, 5 in Nanao, 2 in Shika and 1 in Hakui.

The number of unaccounted persons, those who authorities have not been able to contact, stands at 22, with 18 in Wajima and 4 in Suzu.