Rain threatens quake-hit Japan

July 17, 2007 at 1:43 AM

TOKYO, July 16 (UPI) -- After enduring a destructive earthquake, people in northwest Japan Tuesday prepared for rains-triggered landslides and more aftershocks.

An official with the Japan Meteorological Agency warned that in addition to the aftershocks, some parts of Niigata Prefecture, which took the brunt of the 6.8-magnitude quake Monday, as well Nagano Prefecture to the north could see rains that could trigger landslides, the Kyodo news service reported Tuesday.

The residents also were warned another aftershock with an intensity of between 5 and 6 magnitude could strike in a week in the region. There have already been about 70 aftershocks following the quake, which killed nine people, all of them elderly, injured about 900, flattened hundreds of homes, and disrupted water supplies and public transportation.

Most of those who died were buried under their collapsed homes, government officials said. One more man remained missing Tuesday in Niigata.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the badly hit Kashiwazaki town, about 150 miles northwest of Tokyo, Kyodo said.

"I would like to make every possible effort to restore lifelines such as roads, gas and water, because the victims are in a tough situation," Abe told reporters.

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