News, aftershocks, tsunami warning and more

News, aftershocks, tsunami warning and more

Japan is exposed to a strong earthquake. This is what you should know

A damaged road near Kanazawa Hokuryu High School in Kanazawa, Japan, on January 1, 2024 (Image source: Kyodo News via Getty Images)

A damaged road near Kanazawa Hokuryu High School in Kanazawa, Japan, on January 1, 2024 (Image source: Kyodo News via Getty Images)

A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck western Japan on Monday afternoon, causing a tsunami and damaging roads, electricity, transportation services and infrastructure.

Japanese officials warned residents of affected areas to evacuate to higher ground, while 1,000 military personnel from the Self-Defense Forces were dispatched to assist in rescue and recovery efforts.

Here are the latest developments:

Earthquake: The quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers at 4:10 p.m. local time, about 42 kilometers northeast of Anamizu in Ishikawa Prefecture, according to the US Geological Survey. Several aftershocks were reported in western Japan, including a magnitude 6.2 aftershock about 4 kilometers southwest of Anamizu, the US Geological Survey said.

Tsunami warnings: Authorities issued tsunami warnings for residents of western Japan. Tsunami warnings are issued when waves are expected to reach 3 metres. Japanese public broadcaster NKH said tsunami waves measuring about 1.2 meters high were recorded in the city of Wajima. Waves less than one meter high were recorded in and around Toyama City, while Noto City remained under a tsunami warning.

Damage to infrastructure: Monday's earthquake swept away highways in western Japan, collapsing buildings, sparking fires and disrupting communications. Hayashi Yoshimasa, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said as many as 33,000 homes could be affected by the power outage, according to NHK.

Transportation disruption: At least five highways were closed and several flights were canceled at airports in Ishikawa Prefecture. Two flights were canceled at Noto Airport, where a crack occurred in the runway. A flight from Tokyo landed early but returned to the capital. 15 flights were canceled at Komatsu Airport. Schools were not in operation, but 21 school facilities were being converted into evacuation centres.

Rescue and recovery efforts: Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said at least 8,500 military personnel were on standby to assist in emergency efforts after the quake. Health officials in the city of Suzhou said some doctors were unable to treat infected patients because damaged roads prevented them from traveling to work.

Scenes of the besieged population: Civilians screamed in videos posted on social media after entire homes were flattened in western Japan. In another video, people sat under tables at a local bowling alley, as tremors shook infrastructure and television screens were seen shaking from the ceiling. “My city is in a terrible state,” one person said in a video posted from Noto. “I hope there's no fire.”

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