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Japanese Fijians Reel From Quake, Typhoon

Japanese Fijians Reel From Quake, Typhoon
Police, in blue with yellow uniforms, search for missing persons around a house destroyed by a landslide after a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan on September 6, 2018. Several people were reported missing in the nearby town, where a massive landslide engulfed homes in an avalanche of soil, rocks and timber. Photo: AP
September 08
10:00 2018

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 9.12.22 AM

A Fijian playing in the Japan 7s team is safe after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Hokkaido, northern Japan.

According to Japan Times, at least nine people are dead and 31 unaccounted for in Hokkaido after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake reaching the maximum 7 on Japan’s seismic intensity scale in some areas caused landslides that engulfed houses early on Thursday.

Jose Seru, 26, originally of Qelekuro, Tailevu, has been living in Hokkaido for the past three years.

He was awoken by tremors at about 3am on Thursday morning.

He lives on the seventh floor of an eight-storey building.

Mr Seru said he was asleep when he felt his bed shaking and woke up to the noise of everything falling on the floor.

“I sat up and looked around and tried not to panic and walked down to the lobby because the elevator had shut down,” he said.

“Apart from me, four New Zealand rugby players also live in the building, on the eighth floor.

“The electricity was switched off, there was no water supply and I had to bath with bottled water.

“I am thankful that nothing serious happened,” Mr Seru said.

The Japan Times also said the quake centred east of the city of Tomakomai was felt strongly in Hokkaido’s capital of Sapporo, roughly 68 kilometres away.

Tomakomai is a port city and the biggest in Hokkaido’s Iburi prefecture.

There was no tsunami risk. The 3.08am quake also cut the power supply to nearly three million homes in the prefecture while grounding flights and disrupting train services.

The blackout also affected 40 hospitals as well as telephone services and television broadcasting in the prefecture.

New Chitose Airport was closed for the day after part of its terminal ceiling collapsed as well as due to the power outage, the transport ministry said, affecting flights to and from Tokyo and other cities at the country’s fifth-busiest airport.

Bullet train and local train services were also disrupted by the quake.

Typhoon Jebi

Another Fijian rugby player in the Japan 7s team Josefa Lilidamu, who currently resides in Osaka, Japan, was counting his lucky stars after Typhoon Jebi hit the city earlier this week.

According to Japan Times, Typhoon Jebi, the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years, slammed into the Western part of the country on Tuesday.

The typhoon killed at least seven people and injured more than 200, disrupting transportation, heavily damaging the bridge that leads to Kansai International Airport and leading authorities to call for evacuations of areas in its paths.

“I was lucky enough to not have been badly affected by the typhoon followed by the earthquake,” Mr Liulidamu said.

“We simply had to cut training short and return to our homes.

“Our building’s occupants were instructed to gather in the lobby,” Mr Lilidamu said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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