While Wednesday marks four months since a massive earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in central Japan on New Year's Day, local residents are facing a tough decision: whether to leave or remain in the quake-hit areas.

In the affected areas, efforts to restore water supplies and build temporary housing have been made hurriedly, but many damaged houses are being left as they are.

Mitsunobu Inoike, 68, head of the Kanakura district of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, which is known for its terraced rice fields, is worried that his community could "fall apart."