The earthquake that hit central Japan on January 1 caused 202 victims, according to a new count released Tuesday, January 9, by authorities in the Ishikawa department, where the disaster occurred. Authorities are still without news of 102 people, up from 120 according to previous figures.

It is the deadliest natural disaster in Japan since floods in the west of the country in 2018 which left more than 220 dead. It is also the deadliest earthquake in the Archipelago since those that struck the island of Kyushu (southwest) in 2016, causing the death of nearly 300 people.

Occurring on New Year’s Day on the Noto Peninsula, at the northern tip of Ishikawa Prefecture, the powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake and hundreds of other tremors that followed caused many buildings to collapse, started fires and damaged numerous infrastructures.

Three thousand residents await help

More than a week after the disaster, more than 3,000 inhabitants of the peninsula are still cut off from the world and awaiting rescue, which is slowed down by rain and snow, and the persistent blocking of roads due to landslides.

More than 28,000 people are still housed in some 400 evacuation centers and some of these shelters are overcrowded and lacking food and heating.

Nearly 60,000 homes are also still without access to running water and more than 15,000 remain without electricity as of Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on his ministers to “resolve” the problem of still isolated communities in the Noto Peninsula and “tenaciously continue rescue operations.”

The government is also trying to transfer evacuees to centers located outside the disaster areas, where the supply of basic necessities is not a problem.