A sudden drop in temperatures has taken its toll on evacuees following the deadly M6.7 earthquake in Hokkaido that caused massive landslides and killed 44.
With over 2,000 people still in temporary shelters and 6,000 homes cut off from power and water –in Atsuma alone– the mercury plunging to 5.4C (41F) has put the health of local residents at risk, according to the Hokkaido government.
Temperatures were a comfortable 20C when the quake struck.
“I wore a fleece and borrowed a blanket last night but it was so cold that I could not sleep,” said Naomi Konaya, 43, who is staying at the shelter with her family.
“My niece developed a fever and is sick in bed probably because of the sudden temperature change.”
The earthquake killed 44 people and injured 683 across Hokkaido, with fatalities concentrated in Atsuma, where a number of homes were swept away by landslides.
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