HomeAsian AmericansDozens dead, more quakes anticipated in Western Japan

Dozens dead, more quakes anticipated in Western Japan

A powerful New Year’s Day earthquake in the Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa stands at at least 48 people with thousands of buildings damaged, reports the CBC.

“It’s not just that it’s a mess. The wall has collapsed, and you can see through to the next room. I don’t think we can live here anymore,” Miki Kobayashi, an Ishikawa resident, said to the CBC.

Some regions have been cut off from water, power and cell phone service.

Rescue crews are frantically searching for survivors amidst the ruins and rushing the injured to emergency rooms, according to NBC.

Roads have been so badly damaged that supplies and additional rescue workers may have to arrive by boat.

“As the casualties are starting to become apparent, it is now a race against time,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a news conference. “We must work on rescuing everyone, especially those buried under collapsed buildings. I call on all to utilize all available methods, including deploying the Self-Defense Force, and to do everything possible to expedite the recovery and repair of damaged infrastructure as soon as possible.”

President Biden immediately pledged his support to rescue efforts.

Thousands fled to higher ground when the government issued a tsunami warning that it later lifted.

Rie Wakabayashi told the Washington Post her family escaped to a nearby mall.

“I think everyone remembered March 2011 and the tsunamis, and that’s why there were so many of us [at the mall], probably thousands on each floor,” said Wakabayashi, 33.

In 2011, a tsunami in Japan killed 18,000 people with waves more than 100 feet tall crashing into cities.

Authorities are warning more magnitude 7 quakes could hit the area in the next week. They also expressed concerns about landslides.

“It was really strong, probably the strongest I’ve felt in a while and quite long, too,” said Kashimi, a resident of Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa. “I grabbed on to a tree nearby, and many people around me were squatting down. It was really loud, and I could hear the sounds of glass windows rattling.”

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