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1,500 still in evacuation shelters 1 week after Hokkaido quake

Takeshi Nakata holds a bouquet of flowers for four relatives killed in landslides triggered by a Sept. 6 earthquake in Atsuma, Hokkaido, on Sept. 12, 2018. Nakata, now a resident of Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, visited the house where he was born. His nephew died there. "I didn't imagine that things were this bad," he said. (Mainichi)

SAPPORO -- One week after a deadly earthquake hit Hokkaido, as many as 1,592 people in eight towns and cities still remained in evacuation centers as of 8 p.m. on Sept. 12, according to the Hokkaido Prefectural Government.

This number includes over 20 percent of the population of Atsuma, Hokkaido, at 991 people. The town was located close to the epicenter of the temblor, experiencing a maximum 7 on the Japanese 7-point seismic intensity scale.

Local authorities report that the earthquake killed 41 people and injured 681. A total of 327 buildings were completely or partially damaged, including 121 private houses in municipalities such as Atsuma and Kitahiroshima in southwestern Hokkaido, as well as in the prefectural capital of Sapporo nearby.

Hokkaido Railway Co., the biggest railway operator on the island prefecture, suspended roughly 50 percent of its train services, and said on Sept. 12 that it will resume its limited express services connecting Sapporo and the central region of Obihiro, as well as the eastern region of Kushiro, on Sept. 14. All lines except for the Hidaka Line, which suffered massive damage, are scheduled to resume full-scale operations by Sept. 29.

(Japanese original by Motomi Kusakabe, Hokkaido News Department)

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