Last missing person found dead in Hokkaido

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe last missing person after a severe earthquake that was centered in the Iburi district in southwestern Hokkaido was found early Monday in Atsuma, Hokkaido. The man was confirmed dead, bringing to 40 the death toll in the earthquake that recorded 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, according to the National Police Agency and others.

In addition to the man found on Monday, four people in Sapporo and Tomakomai, Hokkaido, have been confirmed dead, and Hokkaido prefectural police and others are investigating if there is any relationship between their deaths and the earthquake.

Many schools and companies resumed classes and operations in Hokkaido on Monday. Large-scale blackouts have almost been resolved, but power supply is still insufficient. Under such circumstances, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has called for cutting energy use by 20 percent.

In the town of Atsuma, which was hit by large-scale landslides, police officers, Self-Defense Force members and firefighters continued rescue efforts overnight. Early Monday, a 77-year-old man of the Horonai district of the town was found in mud and debris. He was the last missing person after the earthquake.

According to the prefectural government, across Hokkaido, 666 people were injured and 2,716 people are staying in 76 evacuation shelters.

Following the earthquake, 1,752 public schools in Hokkaido were temporarily closed. On Monday, about 90 percent of schools, or 1,570 schools, resumed classes. In Sapporo, 230 of 320 public schools resumed classes on Monday. However, public schools in Atsuma have no prospects of resuming classes yet.

Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp.’s Muroran Works in Muroran in the same prefecture had restarted operations at almost all facilities by Monday after a suspension following the earthquake. Kewpie Corp. had resumed production at four plants of its group company in Hokkaido by Monday. Toyota Motor Hokkaido Inc., a Tomakomai-based subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. — which manufactures transmissions and other car parts — planned to resume operations on Monday night.

The blackouts had been mostly resolved by Saturday, but it is likely to take more than a week to restore the Tomato-Atsuma thermal power plant, according to Hokkaido Electric Power Co. The supply of electricity in Hokkaido reached about 3.46 gigawatts on Sunday, while peak electricity demand was expected to reach 3.83 gigawatts on Monday.

The government is calling for cutting electricity use by 20 percent starting Monday, when electricity demand is likely to increase following the resumption of operations by many companies. Between 11 a.m. and noon Monday, use was trimmed by 13.7 percent. It is believed that no rolling blackouts, which stop power supply in a particular area, are planned for Tuesday.Speech

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