Strong quake triggers landslides killing four in Japan

japan-quake-ap Police search for missing persons around a house destroyed by a landslide after a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan | AP

A powerful earthquake that hit Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday claimed the lives of four people and 33 have been reported as missing. Officials fear the death toll is likely to increase as rescuers search for survivors buried in landslides.

The quake hit the country right after it was battered by typhoon Jebi that claimed the lives of 10 people and triggered massive evacuations.

The quake, a 6.7 magnitude jolt, set off multiple landslides near town of Atsuma in southern Hokkaido which collapsed many houses. More than 150 people have been injured by the quake.

Flights and public transport across the region has been suspended, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The entire island lost power for the first time since Hokkaido Electric Power Co was created in 1951 when the utility conducted an emergency shutdown of all its fossil fuel-fired power plants after the quake. It said almost 12 hours later power was restored to parts of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital, and Asahikawa, its second-most populated city, Reuters reported.