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Japan quake death toll reaches 110

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Japan’s death toll from the New Year’s Day earthquake reached 110 on Saturday, marking the deadliest quake in nearly eight years, according to the Ishikawa government website. 

The magnitude 7.6 quake struck the west coast, causing widespread destruction and disrupting power to 22,000 homes in the Hokuriku region. 

Despite challenges posed by rain hindering search and rescue efforts, over 30,000 evacuees awaited aid. 

By 0700 GMT on Saturday, the confirmed death toll had risen to 110, up from 94 the previous day. 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed his awareness of the extensive damage as the toll crossed 100, stating, “I am keenly aware of the extent of the damage caused.” 

The figure represents the highest toll since the 2016 quakes in Kumamoto, which included related deaths and totaled 276.

 Kishida urged officials to expedite emergency efforts to restore trunk roads disrupted by the quake to resume regular activities. Road disruptions continue to impede the delivery of relief supplies.

Freelance cameraman Masao Mochizuki, 73, shared his sentiments after purchasing necessities from a reopened supermarket in Wajima, stating, “It is such a help that they have managed to re-open.” However, he added, “I don’t see the road to reconstruction just yet,” reflecting the challenges and emotions surrounding the recovery process.

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