January 23, 2019
Latest News

Death toll climbs in Japan's Hokkaido earthquake

Tokyo, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- At least nine people have died in a powerful 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Thursday while around 30 are missing.

The quake struck at 3:08 am local time and had an epicenter about 40 kilometers (25 miles) deep, east of Atsuma, the worst affected area and where the most deaths have occurred, government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.

The quake reached the maximum level of 7 on the Japanese earthquake intensity scale on this mountainous island of around 4,600 inhabitants, triggering landslides and burying around 20 houses.

Although the central government has not released any official figures on the number of people missing or injured, local authorities say 31 people are missing while 300 have been injured, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Around 21,000 troops took part in search and rescue operations on Thursday, including 4,000 members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, a number the government wishes to increase to 25,000 to boost efforts and prevent more casualties.

Fifty helicopters came to aid of people who were trapped, and state media broadcast images of vehicles stuck in mud, and cracked roads in the affected cities.

This is the first time that an earthquake of such intensity has hit Hokkaido since the country revised its earthquake scale in 1996.

Power supply is gradually being restored to some 2.95 million households, which were left without power in Hokkaido in the wake of the quake, the Japanese spokesperson said.

The outage was caused by an automatic shutdown of the main Tomato-Atsuma thermal power station, which generates around half the electricity of the entire prefecture.

The blackout, the worst since the Hanshin earthquake in 1995 left 2.6 million homes without power, also affected 80 hospitals and telephone and TV services.

The government has ordered Tokyo Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power to mobilize their emergency generators for hospitals as it may take up to a week to fully restore power on the island.

The Tomari Nuclear Power Plant saw its external power supply interrupted temporarily, activating its emergency power system.

The Japanese nuclear power regulator said no abnormality in radiation levels was detected at the plant.

The quake also cause roadblocks, the suspension of local and Shinkansen high-speed train services connecting Hokkaido with the main island of Honshu, and of metro services as well as the closure of the New Chitose Airport.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of possible landslides and aftershocks of similar intensity in the coming week, especially in the next few days.

Until 6:34 pm, the JMA had counted 71 aftershocks, some of them of magnitude greater than 4 and 5 on the Richter scale.

News history
8 Dead, 4 missing in floods in Indonesia's Sulawesi island

Jakarta, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- At least eight people have died, four remain missing and thousands have been displaced due to floods in the Indonesian island of...

Far-right MPs leave Bavarian parliament during tribute to victims of Nazism

Berlin, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Lawmakers belonging to the German far-right party Alternative for Germany on Wednesday left the premises of Bavaria's regional...

Service held for Kenyan hotel staff slain in terror attack

Nairobi, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Mourners gathered at a Nairobi church Wednesday to honor six staff members who were among 21 people killed in a terror attack at...

France tells manufacturers stop using chemical substances in baby diapers

Paris, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- The French government met on Wednesday with the national diaper manufacturing industry to demand they eliminate chemical...

Greek lawmakers open heated debate on Macedonia name change

Athens, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Greek lawmakers on Wednesday opened a debate on a bilateral proposal to change the name of its northern neighbor Macedonia, a...

UK citizens living in Germany take on dual citizenship before Brexit

Berlin, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- With the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union looming and the terms of Brexit still uncertain, some British...

Thailand sets date for elections after 5 years of military rule

Bangkok, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Thailand will hold general elections on Mar. 24, the first polls since a coup d'etat in May 2014, the Electoral Commission said...

North Korea names new interlocutor for talks with US

Seoul, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- North Korea's former ambassador to Spain has been named the new interlocutor to lead negotiations with the United States ahead of...

NDS says airstrike killed mastermind of military base attack

Kabul, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- A Taliban commander, believed to be the mastermind of a recent deadly attack on a military base in southern Afghanistan that...

Thai police confirm mutilated bodies found belong to exiled anti-monarchists

Bangkok, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Thailand's police confirmed Wednesday that mutilated bodies found in a river bordering Laos belong to two opponents of the Thai...

Thai military junta issues decree paving way for 2019 elections

Bangkok, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- The military junta that governs Thailand issued a decree on Wednesday asking the Electoral Commission to set a date for...

Civil society, rights groups urge Thailand to free Bahraini soccer player

Bangkok, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Around 30 civil society and human rights organizations urged the prime minister of Thailand on Wednesday to release Hakeem...

Philippine move to lower criminal liability age sparks outrage

Manila, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- A move, backed by the Philippine president, to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years continued to roil...

BoJ keeps monetary policy unchanged but cuts inflation forecasts

Tokyo, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- The Bank of Japan on Wednesday decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged but reduced its inflation outlook for the 2019 and...

Maduro orders complete review of Venezuela's diplomatic ties with US

Caracas, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday that he had ordered a "full, absolute review of relations with the...

D.R. boosts border security with new border installation

Santo Domingo, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Starting this Tuesday the Dominican Republic will have a new control and security center on the north stretch of its...

Nets, Bon Jovi provide food to those affected by US gov't shutdown

New York, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- The Brooklyn Nets basketball team and music icon Jon Bon Jovi have joined forces to help workers affected by the partial US...

Hometown of missing Argentine soccer player prays for his safe return

Buenos Aires, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Residents of the small agricultural town in northeastern Argentina where footballer Emiliano Sala grew up gathered for...

Brazil arrests 2 cops in murder of Rio city councilorwere arrested

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Two police officers suspected of involvement in the March 2018 assassination of human rights activist and Rio de Janeiro...

Hundreds return home after floods in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Jan 22 (epa-efe).- At least 503 people forced from their homes in the northern province of Chaco by floods have returned to their residences,...

Bolivia's Morales celebrates 13 years in power, means to continue

La Paz, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Evo Morales celebrated this Tuesday his 13 years as president - the longest tenure in Bolivian history - with a message of...

Duque asks Cuba again to turn over ELN peace negotiators

Bogota, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Colombian President Ivan Duque on Tuesday once again asked Cuba to turn over the peace negotiators with the National Liberation...

Pipeline blast death toll hits 93, Mexican officials say

Mexico City, Jan 22 (epa-efe).- The death toll from the explosion caused by the illegal tapping of a fuel pipeline last week in Tlahuelilpan, a town in the...

Police arrest man who crashed car against Polish presidential palace gates

Warsaw, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- Warsaw police reported on Tuesday the arrest of an individual who crashed his vehicle against the main gates of the Polish...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.