Over 240 people missing after Japan earthquake

A rescue dog helps firefighters in searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed house in Wajima on Jan. 4. (Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP)

Over 240 persons have been declared missing after a massive earthquake struck the west coast of Japan on New Year’s Day.

According to local media reports, the government has doubled the number of soldiers deployed to the disaster area to 4,600 to support the emergency services.

Four days after the quakes struck, the clock was ticking in the search for survivors.

There were dozens of reports that people remained under collapsed houses.

The mountains of rubble, damaged roads, landslides and aftershocks continue to hamper the efforts of rescue teams.

In Ishikawa Prefecture, the hardest hit, at least 700 people are still cut off from the outside world.

The report said that around 30,000 households had lost their power supply and 80,000 households had lost their water supply.

According to the local authorities, around 33,000 people still have to hold out in hundreds of emergency shelters.