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 on Friday, with more than half the island’s 5.3 million residents still without power.
The 6.7-magnitude quake, which hit before dawn on Thursday, triggered landslides that buried houses and paralysed Hokkaido with widespread power and transport cuts, according to a Reuters report.
The death toll had been put at eight overnight but NHK cited Abe in reporting the new total soon after he held an emergency meeting early on Friday.
Another 26 people were missing, disaster management authorities said.
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