One quake death; road repairs brisk

Kyodo News

A 43-year-old woman who was found dead in her apartment in the city of Shizuoka on Tuesday is the sole fatality recorded in the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that jolted central Japan earlier that day, police said Wednesday.

The body was discovered beneath a pile of books, according to the police.

The quake damaged almost 5,000 houses in Shizuoka Prefecture and injured more than 120 people.

Meanwhile repairs reached a fever pitch Wednesday on a section of the Tomei Expressway that was closed in Shizuoka Prefecture when it collapsed during the magnitude 6.5 quake Tuesday.

Repair of the collapsed shoulder and lane will be finished by noon Thursday, when an increase in traffic is expected as many people will be traveling during the Bon holiday period, according to the road operator and other sources.

The operator, Central Nippon Expressway Co., initially aimed at ending the restoration work by Wednesday midnight.

Expressways around the Tomei were overwhelmed with detour traffic, with part of the Chuo Expressway backed up for about 32 km around 7:30 a.m. between Tokyo and Yamanashi Prefecture.