O previous provisional balance showed 78 dead and 51 missing, with authorities warning that the number of victims could increase, as hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

The rain hampered the searches carried out by thousands of members of the army, firefighters and police across the country.

The 72-hour window, considered crucial for finding survivors after a natural disaster, closed on Thursday, and Ishikawa Governor Hiroshi Hase said he feared “a sharp drop in the survival rate of people at risk.”

The earthquake collapsed hundreds of buildings and destroyed several roads in the area. In the port city of Wajima, in the north of the Noto peninsula, one of the hardest hit, columns of smoke are still visible, following a fire that occurred after the earthquake.

With a magnitude of 7.6 on the open Ritcher scale, the earthquake was felt in Tokyo, around 300 kilometers away from the Noto peninsula, in the department of Ishikawa, a strip of land measuring a hundred kilometers long, bathed by the South Sea. Japan.

On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called this “the most serious catastrophe” of the Reiwa era, which began in 2019 with the enthronement of current Emperor Naruhito.

In March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami on the northeast coast caused almost 20,000 deaths and missing people, triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the most serious since Chernobyl (Ukraine) in 1986.

Japan is located in the so-called “Pacific ring of fire”, an area of ​​great seismic and volcanic activity, where thousands of earthquakes are recorded per year, most of them of weak to moderate magnitude, and with close to 120 active volcanoes.

Read Also: Elderly woman pulled from rubble 72 hours after earthquake in Japan

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2473714/pelo-menos-242-desparecidos-e-92-mortos-em-sismo-no-japao

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