91% of Deaths in Noto Peninsula Earthquake Caused by Building Collapse, Ishikawa Pref. Reveals

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A danger assessment paper is attached to a collapsed house in Wajima on Saturday.

Ninety-one out of 100 deaths in the Noto Peninsula Earthquake were due to building collapse, according to a list of fatalities released by Ishikawa Prefecture by Saturday. Since Jan. 15, the prefecture has been announcing the names of victims and the details of their deaths with the consent of their families. On Saturday, an additional 10 people were announced, bringing the total to 103. Ages ranged from 3 to 97 years old, with 61 people aged over 70, accounting for approximately 60%. There were 52 male and 51 female victims.

Regarding the circumstances of some deaths, the details of three of the victims were not disclosed due to the wishes of their families. Of the 100 victims who comprise the list, 91 died due to building collapse, eight due to landslides, and one due to tsunami. In Wajima, all 37 victims died due to building collapse, while in Suzu, 40 out of 41 victims died due to building collapse and one due to tsunami. The prefecture stated that specific causes of death, such as crushing or drowning, would be disclosed only if the families wished, and so far, none have been disclosed.

Prof. Akiyoshi Nishimura from Tokushima University, who investigated the causes of deaths in the Great Hanshin Earthquake, said: “In the Kobe city area during the Great Hanshin Earthquake, 53.9% of deaths were due to suffocation caused by building collapse, and 12.5% were due to crushing. In the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, many victims were also trapped under collapsed buildings, and it is believed that many died due to suffocation and similar causes, as in the Great Hanshin Earthquake.”