Hokkaido Quake Death Toll Hits 41; Nearly 2,000 People at Shelters

Society Lifestyle

Sapporo, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)--The death toll from a powerful earthquake that severely damaged the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido last week reached 41 on Monday, while 1,989 people were staying at shelters as of 9 p.m. the same day (noon GMT).

The last missing person in the temblor, which struck the Iburi region in southwestern Hokkaido on Thursday, was found and confirmed dead in the small hours of Monday. The victim was found in a landslide site in the town of Atsuma and identified as Tatsuyuki Yamamoto, a 77-year-old male resident of the Horonai district in the town.

A deceased man in his 50s in the city of Tomakomai was confirmed to have died due to the earthquake.

Of the 41 victims, 36 were from Atsuma. "It will take a considerable period of time to reconstruct our town," Shoichiro Miyasaka, mayor of Atsuma, said. The 6.7-magnitude predawn quake measured 7, the highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, in Atsuma.

The quake caused multiple landslides in Atsuma. Miyasaka said he still cannot believe that mountains in the town have collapsed. "With past records showing that no mountain in the town collapsed, I had believed that Atsuma was resistant to sediment disasters," he noted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press