Ishikawa, Jan 14 (NHK) - Weather officials in Japan say a strong winter pressure pattern will intensify beginning Sunday night and continuing through Tuesday in the areas stricken by the deadly earthquake that hit central regions of the country on New Year's Day.
At least 220 people had been confirmed dead as of Sunday. Thirteen of those individuals are believed to have died from conditions related to the disaster.
Weather officials say the low pressure system with a front is forecast to pass over the areas, causing unstable atmospheric conditions.
Very strong winds and rough seas are expected in northern and eastern parts of Japan beginning Sunday night.
The forecast for Sunday night includes rain that will gradually turn to snow.
Northern and eastern parts of Japan, mainly in the areas facing the Sea of Japan, could see heavy snow.
More people are falling ill, as they spend prolonged periods in shelters.
An 86-year-old man with a chronic illness died at an evacuation center in the town of Noto, after his health deteriorated.
The evacuation center where the man was staying had heaters. But the man's relatives say it was difficult for him to stay warm and he couldn't sleep because he was so cold.
The relatives note the elderly man became unwell on Tuesday night and then died. The town has reported that his death may be related to the disaster.
Power and water outages continue to affect the region. Over 55,000 households in the prefecture are currently without water. The earthquake also damaged the local water purification plant and other facilities.
But little restoration work has been done so far. Local officials have been focused on distributing water and other supplies to residents.
Recovery efforts are now moving more quickly, thanks to personnel dispatched from municipalities across the country.
Damaged roads and landslides have left people in some communities isolated. Work is underway to evacuate them. The Fukami district of Wajima is among the places that have been cut off and all residents were moved out earlier this week.
The authorities decided to evacuate them, as there is a risk of further mudslides.
Soil has been loosened in the areas affected by the quake and even a small amount of rain could trigger landslides.
Weather officials are warning that buildings which were damaged by the quake could give way under the weight of accumulated snow.
They are calling on residents to be on the lookout for any structural abnormalities in their houses.