124 hours after a massive earthquake struck western Japan, killing 126 people, collapsing buildings and triggering landslides.
A woman in Ishikawa Prefecture's Suzu city survived more than five days after Monday's 7.6-magnitude earthquake. Nationally broadcast news footage showed helmeted rescuers covering the area with blue plastic, and the woman was nowhere to be seen.
Chances of survival decrease after the first 72 hours. A number of dramatic rescues have been reported over the past few days as soldiers, firefighters and others joined the widespread effort.
A 5-year-old boy was among the 126 who died. Ishikawa Prefecture, the hardest-hit region, said his condition suddenly worsened and he died on Friday.
The backlash threatened to bury more homes and block roads critical to the delivery of relief supplies. Officials have warned that the already cracked roads are at risk of complete collapse. That risk is increasing with rain and snow expected overnight and into Sunday.
Wajima City reported 69 deaths, followed by Suzu with 38. More than 500 people were injured, at least 27 of them seriously.
Earth tremors caused roofs to sit effortlessly on roads and everything below them was crushed flat. The roads were disintegrated like rubber. A fire reduced Wajima's neighborhood to ashes.
Although numbers fluctuate, more than 200 are still unaccounted for. 11 people are reported to be trapped under two collapsed houses in Anamisu.
Shiro Kokuta, 76, said the house in Wajima where he grew up was spared, but a nearby temple was engulfed in flames, and he was still searching for friends in evacuation centers.
„It was very difficult,” he said.
Japan has one of the fastest aging societies in the world. The population of Ishikawa and nearby areas has declined over the years. A fragile economy centered on handicrafts and tourism is now more affected than ever.
In an unusual gesture from nearby North Korea, leader Kim Jong Un sent a message of condolence to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Saturday.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters that Japan is grateful for all the news, including the news from North Korea. Hayashi said that in 1995, Japan received a condolence message from North Korea.
Along Japan's coast, power was gradually restored, but water supplies were still limited. Emergency drinking water systems were also damaged.
The nationally circulated Yomiuri newspaper said its aerial survey found more than 100 landslides in the area, blocking some lifelines. Some communities are isolated and waiting for help.
„I hope the city recovers and people don't leave,” said Seizo Shinbo, a seafood vendor stocking noodles, canned goods and rice balls at the supermarket. .
“No food. No water. And worse is the gas. People are still standing in kilometer-long queues,” Shinbo said.
Kageyama reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writer Hyung-Jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.
Yuri Kageyama is on X: https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
. „Gracz. Namiętny pionier w mediach społecznościowych. Wielokrotnie nagradzany miłośnik muzyki. Rozrabiacz”.