Multiple Confirmed Deaths After Japan Earthquake

Ongoing aftershocks following last week’s earthquakes in western Japan have threatened more homes and vital roads needed to ship relief as the death toll climbs to more than 120 people, the Associated Press reported.

Following last Monday’s 7.6 magnitude quake off the western coastline of Japan, the reported death toll reached 98 by Saturday morning, with additional deaths reported in Anamizu City and Wajima. Later on Saturday, the death toll hit 126 people.

Officials warned on Saturday that the roadways, already damaged from the dozens of aftershocks that have plagued the area, could completely collapse, especially in light of the forecasted rain and snow expected over the weekend.

The city of Wajima was hardest hit, recording the highest number of fatalities with 69. Suzu followed with 23 recorded deaths. Over 500 people in total have been injured, 27 of those severely.

A 5-year-old boy who was severely injured after boiling water spilled over him during last Monday’s quake died on Friday after his condition suddenly worsened.

With over 200 people still unaccounted for, the death toll is likely to continue to climb.

In an unexpected gesture of support, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un relayed his condolences to Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishia, according to North Korea’s KCNA news outlet.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, a spokesman for Kishia’s government told reporters on Saturday that Japan was grateful for the messages of support and condolences it had received, including from the United States and other allies, and Kim Jong Un. Hayashi noted that the last time North Korea had sent a message of condolence following a disaster was in 1995.

Throughout last week, power along Japan’s coastline was being restored, however, drinking water remained in short supply since emergency water systems were damaged in the quakes.

Japanese troops were transporting food, water, and medicine to the over 32,000 people who were evacuated to schools, auditoriums, and other temporary facilities.

According to the Japanese national newspaper Yomiuri, an aerial study of the affected regions found over 100 landslides, some of which had blocked crucial roadways.