Nepal | July 12, 2020

Death toll rises, flights resume, power back in Japan quake

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Share Now:

Residents bring out their belongings from an earthquake-damaged house in Kiyota ward of Sapporo, Hokkaido, northern Japan, on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. Photo: AP

SAPPORO, JAPAN: Japanese rescue workers and troops searched Saturday for the missing for a third straight day in a northern hamlet buried by landslides from a powerful earthquake.

Power was restored to most households and international flights resumed to the main airport serving the Hokkaido region.

The Hokkaido government said Saturday that 30 people are dead or presumed dead and nine remain missing. All but three of the victims are in the town of Atsuma, where landslides crushed and buried houses at the foot of steep forested hills that overlook rice fields.

Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it would suspend nearly all its production in Japan on Monday. Toyota makes transmissions and other parts in Hokkaido and also has suppliers on what is the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

The magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck about 3 a.m. on Thursday knocked out power to the entire island of 5.4 million people, swamped parts of a neighborhood in the main city of Sapporo in deep mud and triggered destructive landslides.

Backhoes were removing some of the solidified mud to clear a road in Kiyota ward on the eastern edge of Sapporo. In parts of Kiyota, the earth gave way as it liquefied, tilting homes and leaving manhole covers standing one meter (three feet) in the air. In parking lots, cars were still stuck in mud that reached part way up their wheels.

The return of electricity came as a huge relief for residents. About half of Hokkaido got power back Friday, and all but 20,000 households had power Saturday morning.

“It was a relief that it was back yesterday evening, but it feels it took time,” said 66-year-old Sapporo resident Tatsuo Kimura, adding that the blackout was a reminder “of how important electric power is in our life.”

Tourists from South Korea and China were able to head home from New Chitose Airport, outside of Sapporo. About 1,600 people spent the previous night at the airport, according to Japanese media reports.

Hokkaido has become a popular destination for tourists from other parts of Asia.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Tarai districts at risk of floods after heavy rainfall in hilly region

RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...

NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...

Commission on the investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons

Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi

East-West Highway obstructed as flood sweeps diversion in Nawalpur

KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) standing committee meet put off for a week

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has postponed its Standing Committee meeting for a week. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha wrote on his Twitter handle that the party took the decision to postpone its Standing Committee meeting to enable the party’s rank and fil Read More...

‘Regulate particular content, media, not entire industry’

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Freedom Forum, a civil society organisation, issued a press release condemning cable operators’ decision to halt broadcast of Indian news channels, except Doordarshan, over misleading and defamatory content about Nepal. Freedom Forum said service providers and media carrie Read More...

Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

LOS ANGELES: With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reaffirmed their commitment to each other as Pinkett Smith admitted to having a relationship with musician August Alsina when she and Smith were separated. In a one-on-one conversation Friday on Pinke Read More...

Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistake

Roughly five hours after an internal email went out Friday to Amazon employees telling them to delete the popular video app TikTok from their phones, the online retailing giant appeared to backtrack, calling the ban a mistake. “This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error," Read More...