A devastating earthquake has caused nearly 100,000 residents in Japan to evacuate

Raushan
A gate is damaged after an earthquake at a shrine in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, on Monday. (Photo: Kyodo via Reuters)

NANAO, Japan, Jan 2: Japan experienced a devastating earthquake on New Year’s Day, resulting in the deaths of at least 30 people, and causing difficulties for rescue teams to reach remote regions impacted by road devastation, collapsed structures, and power outages.

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, causing coastal residents to evacuate to higher ground for tsunami waves that would hit the west coast, causing vehicles and dwellings to sink.

Local media reported that a sequence of intense seismic events that occurred in Japan on Monday generated tsunami surges reaching heights of up to five feet and prompted authorities to issue evacuation advisories and warnings for individuals residing along the nation’s northwest coast.

A earthquake struck Ishikawa and nearby prefectures, with one having a preliminary magnitude of 7.6, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Local weather organizations predicted tsunami waves to be within 300 kilometers of the epicenter in Noto, Ishigawa.

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The earthquake began at 4:06 p.m. (local time) with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. This was followed by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake at 4:10 p.m. (local time), a 6.1-magnitude earthquake at 4:18 p.m. (local time), a 4.5-magnitude earthquake at 4:23 p.m. (local time), a 4.6-magnitude earthquake at 4:29 p.m. (local time), and a 4.8-magnitude earthquake at 4:32 p.m.

A magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck shortly after, according to the US Geological Survey.

TSUNAMI WARNINGS, EVACUATED PEOPLE

Japanese public broadcaster NHK warned people to flee coastal regions and seek higher ground when waves of up to 5 meters smashed the shore of Noto in Ishikawa following the tsunami warning. The local Met office recorded up to 21 earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.0, according to the AFP news agency.

According to The Japan Times, the JMA warned that anybody encountering a tsunami of more than one meter was “highly likely to be unable to stand, with the possibility of death.”

The JMA issued tsunami warnings along the western coastlines of the prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama, according to Reuters. According to NHK, additional prefectures, such as Niigata and Toyama, experienced waves that reached heights of 3 meters.

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Multiple social media videos depicted buildings violently trembling, causing individuals to hasten to shelter beneath tables and chairs, and rampaging tsunami waves that threatened to inundate coastal regions.

Road fractures and the destruction of a number of homes were the consequences of the earthquakes in the affected regions.

The administrations of North Korea, South Korea, and the far eastern Russian cities of Vladivostok and Nakhodka have all issued tsunami alerts.

The Associated Press reported that the JMA issued a major tsunami advisory for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the remainder of the western coast of Honshu island.

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As reported by NHK, the tsunami surges continued to propagate, and subsequent to the initial alert, warnings were revised after nearly an hour had passed.

Local media reported that the string of earthquakes and tsunami warnings led to the suspension of Shinkansen bullet train services in central and eastern Japan.

 The earthquake caused power outages for about 34,000 homes.  Authorities closed several major roads in central Japan, near the epicenter. There were problems with phone and internet service in Ishikawa and Niigata.

According to Hokuriku Electric Power, more than 36,000 homes in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures had lost power.

Reuters reported that NHK said the company was also checking its nuclear power plants for any problems.

The Japanese Prime Minister Asks People to Listen to Tsunami Warnings

The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office has sent out a tsunami advisory, telling the government to keep the public up to date with correct information about the tsunami and how to evacuate people, as well as to take all possible steps to stop damage.

It also told the authorities to look at any damage that might have happened and work closely with local governments to save lives and get people out of dangerous places along the coast where tsunami waves were seen as a top priority.

“Continue to pay close attention in case of strong earthquakes,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told people in the places hit by the quake.

The Japan Times quoted him as saying, “In places where tsunamis are expected, I would like to ask that they evacuate as soon as possible.”

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By Raushan
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A Software engineer by profession, cook and blogger by passion
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