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Japan earthquake death toll rises to 168

Tokyo. The death toll has risen to 168 after a series of 7.6-magnitude earthquakes struck the central prefecture and surrounding areas in Ishikawa, Japan, last week. Heavy snowfall and rain have hampered rescue operations.

By 2 p.m., the number of unidentified people in the most affected province had increased to 323. According to local officials, at least 565 people were injured due to the earthquake on Monday local time.

Public broadcaster NHK said on Monday that 1,218 aftershocks rated at least 1 on the country’s seven-level seismic intensity scale have been recorded in the week since a powerful earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture on New Year’s Day.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned on Monday that earthquake-hit areas are likely to experience powerful tremors of magnitude five or more on the Japanese scale in the coming month, Xinhua news agency reported.

JMA official Shinya Tsukada told a news conference that the probability of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake similar to that on Jan. 1 is low, but seismic activity is continuing.

Tsukada warned of an increased risk of building collapses and landslides.

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