In the aftermath of the New Year’s Day Japan earthquake , rescue operations are in a race against time to locate survivors , with a critical three-day window now closed. The 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the remote Noto peninsula on Monday at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT), claiming the lives of at least 82 people. Many individuals are believed to be trapped beneath collapsed homes in the towns of Suzu and Wajima, where the majority of casualties are reported.
The chances of finding survivors of Japan earthquake significantly diminish after the crucial 72-hour mark, prompting intensified efforts from rescue teams. Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, urged a full-scale endeavor to save as many lives as possible, acknowledging the challenging circumstances.As of Thursday, rescue teams had saved 150 people, but tens of thousands still lack power and water, and hundreds face isolation due to landslides and blocked roads.
The earthquake, followed by a series of aftershocks, resulted in injuries to at least 330 individuals. More than 30,000 people in the affected areas are still in shelters, facing shortages of essential resources. Dramatic rescue stories, such as a video shared by Peace Winds Japan depicting rescuers navigating through collapsed furniture to save a trapped woman, have been circulating online.
Despite introducing earthquake protection regulations in 1981, Japan constructed many wooden homes before implementing these standards. In Wajima, a town resembling a ghost town due to early tsunami warnings, more than half of the buildings did not meet the updated standards. The population of around 23,000 in Wajima has suffered a significant death toll, with 48 confirmed deaths, and experts expect this number to rise as some areas stay inaccessible due to ruptured roads and landslides.