This piece has been updated with the revised magnitude of the earthquake and the latest death toll.
A 7.0-magnitude quake hit Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido early today (Sept. 6), leaving at least seven dead and dozens injured or missing by the latest count.
The quake also left the entire island and its population of 5.3 million people without electricity, after Hokkaido Electric Power said the quake shut down the island’s largest thermal power plant. In the meantime, the hydropower plants in operation are being used to restore power to the thermal power plants, but are unable to provide electricity to homes and companies. Japan’s trade minister, however, said it could take a week (link in Japanese) for power to be restored at the major Tomato-Atsuma thermal power plant.
The quake also left Hokkaido’s main airport, New Chitose Airport in the city of Sapporo, closed for the day due to extensive damage, exacerbating travel disruptions in Japan after Kansai International Airport in Osaka was battered by Typhoon Jebi earlier this week. Local public transport has also been suspended, including the bullet train connecting Hakodate in Hokkaido to Aomori on the main island of Honshu. Hokkaido is a popular tourist spot, known for its lakes, mountains, and farms, and is famous for its dairy produce and seafood.