ANAMIZU, Japan: The death toll from a devastating
earthquake in central Japan rose to 92 on Friday (Jan 5), regional
authorities said, with the number of missing jumping to 242.
Two elderly women were pulled from the rubble, but hopes of
finding other survivors faded as thousands of rescuers raced against the clock
four days after the 7.5 magnitude quake on New Year's Day.
Thousands of rescuers from all over Japan have been battling
aftershocks and roads littered with gaping holes and blocked by frequent
landslides in the Ishikawa region to reach hundreds of people in stranded
On Thursday afternoon, 72 hours after the quake, the two
older women were miraculously pulled alive from the remains of their homes in
Wajima, one of them thanks to a sniffer dog called Jennifer.
The port city of Wajima on the Noto Peninsula was one of the
worst hit, with a pungent smell of soot still in the air and faint columns of
smoke visible from a huge fire that destroyed hundreds of structures on the
"I was relaxing on New Year's Day when the quake
happened. My relatives were all there and we were having fun," Hiroyuki
Hamatani, 53, told AFP amid the burnt-out cars, wrecked buildings and fallen
"The house itself is standing but it's far from livable
now ... I don't have the space in my mind to think about the future," he
A woman, whose house was damaged by an earthquake carries her belongings
as she heads to an evacuation centre in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, Jan
5, 2024. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-hoon)