The death count from Japan’s New Year’s Day earthquake has jumped to 161 from 128 overnight, authorities said Monday as snow complicated rescue efforts. The number of people unaccounted for fell to 103 from 195, according to authorities in the central Ishikawa region hit by the 7.5-magnitude quake.
The shock waves toppled buildings, sparked a major fire and triggered tsunami waves over a meter high. Thousands of rescuers have been drafted in from all over Japan, their work complicated by roads being cut off by the quake and an estimated 1,000 landslides. In the last two days, the region has been blanketed in snow, making the operation harder still. Against the odds, a woman in her 90s survived five days under the wreckage of a collapsed house in the city of Suzu on the hard-hit Noto Peninsula before being saved on Saturday.