Japanese rescue teams continue to search for victims of the earthquake. It was stated that the death toll from the earthquake had increased to 57 people.
Reported by AFP, Wednesday (3/1/2023) Japanese news agency Kyodo put the death toll at 57, citing local officials, as rescue teams combed through the rubble.
“Extremely severe damage has been confirmed, including heavy casualties, building collapses and fires,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said after a disaster response meeting.
He said that currently his party had to race against time to find and save the victims.
“We have to race against time to find and save disaster victims,” he said.
Aerial news footage showed the size of the fire that engulfed the old Wajima market area, with a seven-story commercial building collapsing. Damage from the earthquake also hampered rescue efforts to extinguish the fire.
Most of the houses in the coastal city of Suzu collapsed, according to officials cited by Kyodo.
“The situation is very worrying, because about 90 percent of the houses have been completely or almost completely destroyed,” Suzu Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya said at a prefectural government meeting.
Nearly 33,000 households are without electricity in the area. Many cities do not have clean water.