The central Japan prefecture of Ishikawa on Saturday remained on high alert for aftershocks and heavy rain after a powerful earthquake hit the region the previous day, leaving at least one person dead and around 35 injured.
As rain fell and smaller tremblors continued to shake the prefecture following the magnitude 6.5 quake that hit Suzu on the tip of the Noto Peninsula Friday afternoon, the municipality issued evacuation orders for over 1,600 residents from roughly 740 households in the city and warned of landslides.
Six buildings collapsed, and more than 120 households experienced water outages. Landslides and road depressions were confirmed in Suzu following the quake, and an M5.9 aftershock hours later.
More than 50 aftershocks had occurred in the area as of 4 p.m. following the initial quake. The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned that strong aftershocks of similar intensity could occur for around a week.
Heavy rainfall is forecast for the prefecture over the weekend, which could raise the risk of landslides in areas where the quakes have loosened the ground.
The weather agency said the prefecture could see rainfall of up to 30 millimeters per hour through early Sunday.
A 65-year-old man in Suzu died Friday after falling from a ladder.
The quake occurred during Japan’s Golden Week holidays when many people travel for leisure or to visit family.
Nobuko Kameda, an 89-year-old resident of Suzu, said she spent the night in the car of her son, who was visiting from Fukui, as she felt she could not stay in her home after the quake and the major aftershock.
“I felt temblors this morning too, and I was scared even inside the car,” she said.
Akio Okuno, a bus driver in his 60s, looked at his home where a refrigerator and a chest had been crushed, saying, “It looks like we’re going to get heavy rain, and I’m worried about leaks.”
The Suzu government set up evacuation centers in the city, while Ishikawa Gov. Hiroshi Hase said he would request the central government to help secure housing for those affected by the quake.
Suzu Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya suggested that the city did not require the help of the Self-Defense Forces at this stage.