Stranded passengers wait for their flights at Chitose airport in Chitose, Hokkaido, northern Japan, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. The regional airport was beginning to resume operations after hundreds of flights had been cancelled, stranding thousands of travelers, due to Thursday’s power outage and light quake damage. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Stranded passengers wait for their flights at Chitose airport in Chitose, Hokkaido, northern Japan, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. The regional airport was beginning to resume operations after hundreds of flights had been cancelled, stranding thousands of travelers, due to Thursday’s power outage and light quake damage. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Death toll nears 40 from northern Japan earthquake

The magnitude 6.7 earthquake before daybreak Thursday knocked out power and train service

Japanese authorities say 37 people have been confirmed dead from a powerful earthquake that struck the northern island of Hokkaido last week.

The Hokkaido government said Sunday that two people remain missing and one other person has no vital signs. Rescue workers are using backhoes and shovels to search for the missing in a tangle of dirt and the rubble of homes left by multiple landslides in the town of Atsuma. All but four of the victims are from the community of 4,600 people.

READ MORE: Big quake hits northern Japan, leaving 9 dead, 30 missing

READ MORE: Dozens still missing as death toll hits 176 in Japan floods

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a hard-hit area of Sapporo, the main city in Hokkaido.

The magnitude 6.7 earthquake before daybreak Thursday knocked out power and train service across Hokkaido. It took two days to restore electricity to most of the island of 5.4 million people.

The Associated Press


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