Death toll in Japan quake rises to nine

June 15th, 2008 - 2:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, June 15 (DPA) The toll in the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck north-eastern Japan has risen to nine after rescue workers found the bodies of three people in the ruins of a guesthouse in Miyagi province, reports said Sunday. According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, the house had been destroyed by a landslide triggered by Saturday’s quake.

About a 1,000 rescue workers with Japan’s Self-Defence Force and the Tokyo Fire Department were in search of people buried under collapsed houses and landslides in the quake-hit regions. The two hardest-hit areas were the Iwate and Miyagi provinces.

Drinking water had to be specially brought in to many locations in the mountainous region of Tohoku due to the destruction of normal water services by the quake.

In addition, more than 270 aftershocks were reported, and the authorities have warned of further shocks over the next days.

At least 226 people were injured in the quake hit-regions and 10 were missing. About 29,000 households were left without electricity, and 3,000 households were out of water.

Numerous landslides were seen to block off major roads, making it difficult for rescuers to reach disaster areas. Helicopters transported some 300 people who were isolated due to landslides.

The epicentre of the quake was approximately 100 km north of Sendai in Iwate province, at a depth of some eight kilometres.

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