Workers scramble to restore Hokkaido transportation links and utilities as earthquake death toll climbs to 39


The death toll from the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that rocked southern Hokkaido last week rose to 39, authorities said Sunday, as work to restore air and road transport, as well as water and power services, continues.

More than 7,000 members of the Self-Defense Forces and other emergency service rescuers continue their search for survivors.

Also Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Hokkaido to assess the extent of the damage.
Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) resumed some express train operations — among them services from Sapporo to Abashiri and Asahikawa — that had been fully suspended.

The earthquake, which struck near the town of Atsuma on Thursday, destroyed houses, cut off roads and caused massive widespread landslides that buried parts of towns.

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