Japan earthquake survivors are threatened by landslides and bitter cold

Rescue efforts have been made more difficult by damaged infrastructure, severed roads, and the remote location of the hardest-hit areas.
The number of fatalities from the New Year’s Day earthquake in Japan increased to 64 on Wednesday as rescuers raced to reach the survivors despite the forecast of bitterly cold temperatures and torrential rain later in the day.
On Monday afternoon, an earthquake with an initial magnitude of 7.6 occurred on the Noto peninsula, causing houses to collapse and isolating isolated regions from assistance.
Wednesday’s heavy rains were predicted in the earthquake-affected areas, which sparked concerns about landslides and the potential to impede rescue efforts for a large number of people still under the rubble.
Rescue operations have been made more difficult by blocked roads, destroyed infrastructure, and the remote locations of the hardest-hit areas. Two days after the earthquake, it’s still unclear how much damage and how many people were killed.
This makes the earthquake the deadliest to strike Japan since at least 2016, according to official figures, which increased from 55 late on Tuesday to 64 now.
Read More: Nearly 50 people are killed in Japan’s earthquake, as damaged roads impede the search for survivors
The peninsula is still being hit by smaller earthquakes.
Despite the rain and aftershocks, firefighters from the prefectures of Osaka and Nara continued their search for a woman who was confined to a wooden structure that had been crushed by a seven-story building that had collapsed sideways.
The woman was not exhibiting any vital signs, according to a firefighter, and the rescuers were clearing debris in an attempt to reach her.
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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced during a press conference that the government had opened a sea route for aid delivery and that some larger trucks could now reach some of the more remote areas after a national disaster response meeting.
More than 40 hours have passed since the first earthquake. This is a war against time, and I think we are in a critical position right now,” he declared.

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