At least 2 dead, dozens missing after major quake strikes Japan

At least 2 dead, dozens missing after major quake strikes Japan

The quake struck as Japan was already dealing with the effects of Typhoon Jebi, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years, which killed at least 11 people on Wednesday. However, damage to generators at the Tomato Atsuma plant meant that a full restoration of power could take more than a week, Seko said.

A woman walks past a damaged building in Abira town, near Chitose, Hokkaido, northern Japan following a strong quake.

Companies on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido scrambled to gather information and assess damage to their facilities after the temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck southern Hokkaido at 3:08 a.m., triggering a blackout across the prefecture. Seventeen homes were reported damaged in Atsuma, three in Abira, two in Mukawa and one in Tomakomai.

"We will do our best to save lives", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after an emergency cabinet meeting.

The number of households affected by the power outage exceeds the country's previous high of 2.6 million that lost electricity in the aftermath of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck Kobe and its surrounding area in 1995.

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A series of smaller shocks, including one with a magnitude of 5.4, followed the initial quake, the Meteorological Agency said.

Media reported a baby girl at a Sapporo hospital was in critical condition after the power was cut to her respirator.

Mr Abe said his Government had set up a command centre to coordinate relief and rescue and said saving lives was the top priority. Residents were warned to take precautions for potential major aftershocks in coming days. "Due to the effects of the natural disaster, Japan Football Association has chose to cancel the Kirin Challenge Cup 2018 match between Samurai Blue [Japan National Team] and Chile National Team, scheduled to be played at Sapporo Dome on 7 September 2018".

A cracked road and destroyed buildings are seen after an quake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.

Mountainsides collapsed in the town of Atsuma, crushing homes and farm buildings, and it is feared many people are trapped.

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National broadcaster NHK aired footage of the moment the quake struck Muroran, with its camera violently shaking and all city lights going out a moment later.

A manhole sticks out from a destroyed road in Sapporo.

Japan's economy minister says damage from a powerful quake at the main thermal plant has delayed the restoration of power on the main northernmost island of Hokkaido for more than a week.

As Japan's northern frontier and a major farming region with rugged mountain ranges and vast forests, Hokkaido is an area where residents are used to coping with long winters, isolation and other hardships.

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