The death toll from last week's earthquake in Japan rose to 44, the government announced today. Around 660 have been injured and electricity supply has been affected.
The 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit island of Hokkaido and cut of access to and from the island. Many residents continue to find shelter in evacuation centres as landslides buried their houses.
Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesman, said a team of about 40,000 Self-Defense Force troops, police, firefighters and others were working on clearing debris and other clean-up operations. There were no more missing residents, he said.
Power supply has been restored to nearly all customers in Hokkaido but trade minister Hiroshige Seko called on the island’s businesses and 5.3 million residents to use about 20 percent less energy to prevent further blackouts.
“It’s very important now for all residents, businesses, the government, and electricity suppliers to work together towards this goal of 20 percent energy-saving,” Seko told a news conference late on Sunday.
The government has no plans for rolling blackouts on Monday and Tuesday despite the continued closure of a fossil fuel-fired power plant that supplies about half the island’s power, he said.