Over 20,000 Houses in Ishikawa Pref. Damaged by Quake; Snow Hampers Construction of Temporary Housing Units

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Workers lay foundation of temporary housing units on a snow-covered ground in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday morning.

KANAZAWA — The Ishikawa prefectural government reported that housing units damaged by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake exceeded 20,000 as of 9 a.m. Tuesday. A total of 20,803 damaged houses were recorded in the severely affected prefecture, but the full extent of the damage, particularly in Wajima and Suzu, remains unknown, and the number is expected to rise. The region also grappled with intermittent snowstorms and freezing temperatures, exacerbating the suffering of the survivors.

According to the prefectural government, there has been a rise in count of damaged houses, mainly in Nanao, Nakanoto and Uchinada. About 1,000 units were damaged in Anamizu, according to the town government, but added, “This means that the number is large. We haven’t fully understood the real extent of the situation.”

Foundation work for temporary housing units has begun in Suzu. At an elementary school ground, where 40 units are planned, a 34-year-old construction worker was seen laying blocks. He expressed concerns, saying, “Construction could be delayed if snow accumulates and needs to be cleared.”

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that temperatures dropped to minus 1.2 C in Suzu and 0.3 C in Wajima on Tuesday morning. A 62-year-old fisherman, who has been sheltering in his car in Wajima, was braving the cold using blankets and heat packs. The fisherman expressed relief and gratitude when provided a beef rice bowl that morning, saying, “I really appreciate the warm meal.”

According to the agency, the Noto region has experienced over 1,400 earthquakes registering at least 1 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale since the Noto Peninsula Earthquake hit on Jan. 1. The agency also advises caution over the next two to three weeks for potential earthquakes with a maximum intensity of 5 or higher.