0501 GMT November 17, 2018
Qassemi in a statement released on Saturday expressed sympathy with the Japanese government, people and the bereaved families of victims of the recent natural disasters, IRNA reported.
Japanese rescue workers and troops searched Saturday for the missing for a third straight day in a northern hamlet buried by landslides from a powerful earthquake.
The Hokkaido region’s government said Saturday that 30 people are dead or presumed dead and nine remain missing. All but three of the victims are in the town of Atsuma, where landslides crushed and buried houses at the foot of steep forested hills that overlook rice fields.
The 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck about 3 a.m. on Thursday knocked out power to the entire island of 5.4 million people, swamped parts of a neighborhood in the main city of Sapporo in deep mud and triggered destructive landslides.
It is the latest in a series of disasters that have hit the country, after multiple deaths caused by a severe typhoon, flooding, and heatwaves this summer.
Thursday's earthquake came just days after the strongest typhoon to hit Japan's mainland in 25 years smashed a tanker into a bridge, forcing one of the country's largest airports to close and hundreds of flights to be canceled. The storm caused at least 10 deaths.
Two months ago, landslides and flooding caused by torrential rain across Japan – from Saga in the far southwest to Gifu in the center of the main island of Honshu – killed 200 people in what became one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the country since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.