INTERNATIONAL

Japan PM Abe Visits Quake-hit Hokkaido

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the quake-hit northern region of Hokkaido , the deaths toll rises to 37.

Abe toured the city and commercial hub of Sapporo, where 6.6-magnitude jolt has left houses tilted and roads cracked.

He was scheduled to take a helicopter ride to view the devastation in Atsuma, a small rural town which has seen most of the deaths caused by the quake.

A cluster of dwellings in the town were wrecked when a hillside collapsed from the force of the quake, creating deep brown scars in the landscape.

All three million households in Hokkaido lost power when Thursday's quake damaged a thermal plant supplying electricity to the region.

Power has been nearly restored but officials are asking local residents and businesses to save energy, particularly after the weekend, as electricity supplies remain unstable.

Western parts of the country are still recovering from the most powerful typhoon to strike Japan in a quarter of a century, which claimed 11 lives and shut down the main regional airport.