Victims Remembered a Year after Powerful Hokkaido Quake

Society Lifestyle

Atsuma, Hokkaido, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)--Hokkaido marked the first anniversary on Friday of a powerful earthquake that hit the northernmost Japan prefecture, with residents and officials paying tribute to the 44 victims including three who died due to indirect causes.

In the town of Atsuma, one of the Hokkaido municipalities hit hardest by the temblor, Mayor Shoichiro Miyasaka laid white chrysanthemums at an altar in front of the entrance of the municipal office building around 11:55 a.m. (2:55 a.m. GMT). He and some 70 other municipal government officials offered silent prayers for the victims at noon.

"I can only imagine the irreparable grief of people who lost their loved ones or friends," Miyasaka said. "We'll work harder to regain the luster of our town, the mission passed on by the victims, although the task is difficult and the road will be tough."

In Atsuma, where the earthquake triggered numerous landslides, 37 people lost their lives in the disaster, including one who died due to an indirect cause. The temblor, which occurred at 3:07 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2018, measured the maximum level of 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale in the town.

Reconstruction work continues at landslide-hit areas of the town. Local residents laid flowers at an altar set up nearby and prayed for the victims.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press