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Death Toll From Japan Quake Doubles to 16
The death toll from a powerful earthquake that rattled the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido doubled to at least 16, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said
Friday, with more than half the island's 5.3 million residents still without power.
The 6.7 magnitude quake, which hit before dawn Thursday, triggered landslides that buried houses and paralyzed Hokkaido with widespread power and transport cuts.
The death toll had been at eight overnight, but broadcaster NHK cited Abe in reporting the new total soon after he held an emergency meeting early Friday.
Another 26 people were missing, disaster management authorities said.
The island, a tourist destination about the size of Austria known for its mountains, lakes and seafood, lost all power after the quake when Hokkaido Electric Power Co. shut its fossil fuel-fired power plants as a precaution.
The utility had restored power to about 1.31 million of 2.95 million customers by early Friday, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. It could take at least a week to restore power fully.
The quake was the second disaster to hit Japan this week, after a summer during which the country has been battered by deadly typhoons, flooding and a record heat wave.