• Kyodo


Emergency teams in quake-stricken areas of Tottori and Shimane prefectures continued work to clear roads and restore services amid rain and warnings of landslides.

Local officials urged residents to be alert for landslides that may occur in areas such as the city of Yonago and the town of Saihaku, both in Tottori Prefecture, after Friday’s magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck the Chugoku region, centered in western Tottori Prefecture.

On Monday, disaster-relief officials in Tottori conducted an aerial survey to determine the extent of damage in a mountainous area.

In the city of Sakaiminato, one of the two hardest-hit areas, new surveys show a sharp increase in the number of houses that have totally or partially collapsed, they said.

Tottori Gov. Yoshihiro Katayama, who visited Yonago and other quake-hit areas, said he was considering seeking a supplementary budget of 5 billion yen as an emergency fund to help with reconstruction costs.

Following the three-day weekend, most schools in the quake-stricken areas resumed classes Tuesday, but 18 elementary and junior high schools in Tottori and five in western Shimane were forced to cancel classes.

In Yonago, all afternoon classes at the city’s 23 elementary schools were canceled as the municipal kitchen for school lunches was closed due to damage from the quake, officials said.

The kitchen is expected to reopen today, they added.

At the town office of Mizoguchi, Tottori Prefecture, which was seriously damaged by the temblor, a community hall was converted on Tuesday into a makeshift office for residents.

According to police reports, the number of people injured in the quake as of noon Tuesday reached 131 in nine prefectures.

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