Powerful 7.6 earthquake strikes Japan, triggering tsunami warnings

Reports indicate that tsunami waves, possibly reaching up to 5 meters high, are expected to hit several prefectures. Coastal highways have been closed, and bullet trains have been suspended as precautionary measures.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 01 January, 2024 3:03 pm IST
A Powerful earthquake of 7.6 ,agnitude strikes Japan

NEW DELHI: A formidable 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck north-central regions of Japan, setting off tsunami warnings and urgent evacuation orders. The Japan Meteorological Agency’s alert spans coastal areas of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama prefectures, with the looming threat of tsunami waves reaching up to 5 meters high.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, addressing the nation in a televised statement, urged citizens to adhere to evacuation orders closely, warning of potential aftershocks and additional tsunami waves.

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Reports indicate that tsunami waves, possibly reaching up to 5 meters high, are expected to hit several prefectures. Coastal highways have been closed, and bullet trains have been suspended as precautionary measures.

 

The first tsunami waves, some exceeding a meter in height, have already struck the north coast of central Japan, particularly impacting Wajima port in Ishikawa prefecture. NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, has issued warnings of potential water torrents reaching as high as 5 meters and has urgently advised residents to seek higher ground or the top of nearby buildings.

The earthquake, with its epicentre in north-central Japan, has left more than 36,000 houses experiencing power outages, and major highways near the epicentre have been closed, according to traffic authorities. The extent of damage and loss is yet to be determined.

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Japan, scarred by the traumatic memory of the 2011 undersea quake and tsunami disaster, which claimed around 18,500 lives, remains vigilant in the face of such natural calamities. The recent quake and tsunami alert brings back haunting echoes of the devastating events from the past.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported a rapid succession of quakes in the Noto region, on the Sea of Japan side of Japan’s main island of Honshu. The sequence began with a 5.7-magnitude tremor, followed by the powerful 7.6-magnitude quake, and subsequent tremors of varying magnitudes.

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While specific details on casualties or damage are not immediately available, the situation is evolving rapidly.

The earthquake’s impact comes at a time when Japan continues to grapple with the aftermath of past natural disasters, including the recent 7.4-magnitude quake off the coast of Fukushima in March 2022.

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