At least seven killed, dozens missing after 6.7 magnitude quake hits Japan

Saul Bowman
September 7, 2018

"Due to the effects of the quake, Japan Football Association has made a decision to cancel the Kirin Challenge Cup 2018 match between Samurai Blue and Chile national team", JFA said in a statement on Thursday.

Aerial footage showed dozens of landslides exposing barren hillsides near the town of Atsuma in southern Hokkaido, with mounds of red earth and toppled trees piled at the edge of green fields.

At least seven people have died and dozens are trapped in their homes after a powerful quake hit the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Police, firefighters and Self-Defense Forces personnel used heavy machinery and manually combed through rubble in the town of Atsuma where massive landslides buried a number of homes.

Rescue workers search for missing people in Atsuma. I thought my house was going to collapse.

Operator Hokkaido Electric Power Co reported no radiation irregularities at the plant, which has been shut since shortly after a massive 2011 quake, Suga told a news conference.

He said utilities were starting up several other thermal and hydroelectric plants but even with those stopgap supplies thousands would still be without power for some time.

All trains across the island are halted.

Houses are seen after being destroyed by a landslide after an quake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan.

Airports and many roads on the island were closed and trains were idled by the power outages. (9505.T) aimed to bring more than 80 percent of the 2.95 million households back online by the end of Friday, industry minister Hiroshige Seko said.

Japan rocked by magnitude 6.7 earthquake

The quake was the second disaster to hit Japan this week alone after a summer during which the country has been battered by deadly typhoons, flooding and a record heat wave.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that Kansai Airport will partially resume operations by the end of Friday.and added that global flights will restart as soon as they are ready.

The landslide engulfs houses in Atsuma town, Hokkaido. The U.S. Geological Survey said earlier it struck some 112 km (70 miles) southeast of Sapporo. It registered a strong 6 on Japan's 7-point quake scale.

The central government set up a crisis management taskforce at the prime minister's office. Sounding haggard, Abe said saving lives was his government's top priority.

People look at collapsed buildings in Atsuma.

The station's fuel rods are being cooled with emergency power supplied by diesel generators, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday. Operator Hokkaido Electric reported no radiation irregularities at the plant, Suga told a news conference. "I felt it went sideways, not up-and-down, for about two to three minutes", said Kazuo Kibayashi, an official in hard-hit Abira.

Japan is one of the world's most seismically active nations and accounts for around 20% of quakes worldwide of magnitude 6.0 or more.

The quake, which struck with a magnitude 6.7 in the early hours of Thursday morning, has left nearly three million households without electricity.

With bad weather expected over the next days, officials are warning people to remain cautious and be prepared for aftershocks.

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