A auto stuck on a road damaged by the quake in Sapporo, Hokkaido, yesterday.
"We will do our best to save lives", Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after an emergency Cabinet meeting.
Officials say at least 16 people have been confirmed dead after a powerful natural disaster rattled the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Thursday.
Almost 3 million households were left without power by the quake - the latest in an exhausting run of natural disasters for Japan. At least 300,000 homes were also without water.
Around 22 people are still unaccounted for in the small northern countryside town of Atsuma, where a cluster of dwellings were wrecked when a hillside collapsed with the force of the 6.6-magnitude quake, causing deep brown scars in the landscape. The area's green hills were marred by reddish-brown gashes where soil tore loose under violent tremors.
After more than a day of digging there were no reports of survivors being pulled from their crushed homes in the outskirts of the town of Atsuma, not far from the quake's epicenter.
Kurashige was among more than 100 residents of the hard-hit town who took refuge at a shelter adjacent to the town office.
A total of 28 homes were completely destroyed in the quake, including from landslide damage. Some residents interviewed by national broadcaster NHK described awakening to find their relatives and next-door neighbors gone.
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The risk of housing collapses and landslides had increased, he said, urging residents "to pay full attention to seismic activity and rainfall and not to go into risky areas".
Hokkaido's Tomari nuclear power station, which has been shut since the 2011 quake and tsunami, suffered a power outage but officials said it was cooling its spent nuclear fuel safely.
It posed no tsunami risk, the country's meteorological agency said. Television images showed workers rushing to clean up shattered glass and reinstall ceiling panels that had fallen in the region's biggest airport at Chitose.
The quake comes on the heels of a deadly typhoon lashing the west of Japan over the past few days.
"The forecasts are for rain, and that could bring more landslides, so please continue to exercise extreme caution", he said. But the blackouts brought on by the quake underscored the country's heavy reliance on vulnerable power systems.
Nearly 12 hours later, power was restored to parts of Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital, and Asahikawa, its second-biggest city. A mudslide left several cars half buried.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) said they had taken the decision after considering the magnitude of damage that included widespread power outages and transportation disruptions, as well as spectator safety.
The hope had been to get power back up within hours and some electricity was gradually being restored. Authorities are sending power-generator vehicles to hospitals so they can accept emergency patients when needed, he said.