Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Friday announced that the toll from a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck Hokkaido prefecture has increased to 16, with 26 others still reported missing.
“So far there are 16 (dead) people and many people injured, with 26 still missing,” Abe said at a press briefing after an emergency cabinet meeting.
Abe added that rescue efforts were underway in the affected areas and urged civilians to exercise extreme caution in the coming hours, as rains are expected to cause more landslides, reports Efe news.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said that 47 per cent of Hokkaido’s power supply was restored as of Friday morning.
At 6 am, electricity had returned to 1.4 million households and other establishments, according to Seko.
It is expected that with the resumption of operations in thermal and hydroelectric plants throughout Friday the capacity will rise to 3.12 million kilowatts, around 80 per cent of the maximum production recorded a day before the earthquake. The electric company, therefore, urged people to save as much energy as possible.
The earthquake Thursday triggered an immediate shutdown of the main Tomato thermal power plant in Atsuma, which accounted for half of the electricity production on the island, and other power plants, leaving 2.95 million houses and buildings without electricity.
The power cut also affected transport services, which will resume their services in the coming hours.
The high-speed railway operator JR Hokkaido said it will resume operations around noon, while the New Chitose Airport, the largest in Sapporo, is scheduled to reopen later Friday for incoming flights.