Tokyo, Jan 3: Amid continued aftershocks and reports of additional damages, the death toll due to a series of powerful earthquakes that struck the central Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa earlier this week, increased to 64 on Wednesday, with search and rescue efforts currently underway.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), a 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the Noto Peninsula at 10:54 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday at a depth of 10 km, reports Xinhua news agency.
On Tuesday at at 5:13 p.m, the JMA said a 4.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the Noto Peninsula at 5:13 p.m. local time on Tuesday at a depth of 10 km, measuring upper 5.
Since the massive earthquakes, with the strongest one measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, occurred on Monday, the region has witnessed at least 155 temblors.
The JMA has also lifted all tsunami advisories along the Sea of Japan following the quake, but weather officials warned that strong aftershocks may occur in the week, especially over the next two to three days.
Meanwhile, a total of 57,360 people evacuated in 955 locations across quake-affected Ishikawa and Niigata prefectures, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told mediapersons.
Local media reports showed that the water supply has been cut in a total of 16 cities and towns in the quake-hit Noto region.
Approximately 1,000 Self-Defense Force officers have arrived at the disaster area to carry out rescue operations.
The JMA said the earthquake, which measured the country's maximum seismic intensity of 7, recorded a maximum three-component vector sum peak ground acceleration of 28,266 gals.
The figure is comparable to the 29,334 gals recorded in Kuriyama city, Miyagi prefecture, which also experienced a top-intensity quake during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
It is generally assumed that the greater the acceleration, the larger the shaking and damage, but other factors, such as the duration of the shaking, also play a role, said the JMA.
Injuries were reported in the prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, Fukui, Toyama, and Gifu.