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Hokkaido quake toll rises to 40 as town's last missing person found dead

Rescuers search for missing people in the Hokkaido town of Atsuma, which was struck by landslides following a massive earthquake, on the afternoon of Sept. 9, 2018. (Mainichi)

SAPPORO -- The death toll from a powerful earthquake that hit Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido on Sept. 6 has risen to 40 as of 10 a.m. on Sept. 10, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government has announced.

In the predawn hours of Sept. 10, missing resident Tatsuyuki Yamamoto, 77, was found and confirmed dead in the southwestern town of Atsuma, bringing the quake-related death toll there to 36. All people who were reported missing in Atsuma following quake-triggered landslides have now been accounted for, officials said.

The four other deaths from the magnitude 6.7 quake occurred in the cities of Sapporo and Tomakomai, and in the towns of Shinhidaka and Mukawa in southern and southwestern Hokkaido. In addition, there is a possibility the deaths of three other people in the prefectural capital of Sapporo and one in Tomakomai could be attributed to the temblor, which reached the maximum 7 on the 7-point Japanese seismic intensity scale.

As of 11 a.m. on Sept. 10, the number of residents without electricity in the wake of the quake in the town of Atsuma and other areas stood at 403. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, up to 65,881 homes were without water at one stage following the quake, but as of 5 a.m. on Sept. 10, this figure had dropped to about 8,400.

(Japanese original by Kaho Kitayama, Aomori Bureau, and Kotaro Sawa, Hokkaido News Center)

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