Japan earthqaukePeople evacuate following the earthquake in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture on Jan. 1, 2024. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun ) (Photo by Yusuke Fukuhara / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP)

7.4 Magnitude Quake in Central Japan Sparks Tsunami Alert

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii warned of dangerous tsunami waves within 300 km (190 mi) of the epicentre of the earthquake along the coast of Japan.

A strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake rocked central Japan on Monday, according to the USGS, triggering tsunami alerts and urging authorities to tell people in the area to seek higher ground.

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NHK, the national broadcaster, announced that “All residents must evacuate immediately to higher ground” after the quake hit the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture around 4:10 pm (0710 GMT).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii warned of dangerous tsunami waves within 300 km (190 mi) of the epicentre of the earthquake along the coast of Japan. These waves could cause severe damage to coastal infrastructure, flooding, and injuries or deaths to people near the shore.

A 1.2-metre-high tsunami was confirmed to have reached Wajima city in Ishikawa prefecture.

However, a much bigger tsunami of five metres was expected to hit Noto in the same region, the Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) said.

The JMA reported that the Noto region, on the Sea of Japan side of Japan’s main island of Honshu, experienced a series of quick quakes, starting with a 5.7-magnitude tremor at 4:06 pm local time.

This was followed by a 7.6-magnitude quake at 4:10 pm, a 6.1-magnitude quake at 4:18 pm, a 4.5-magnitude one at 4:23 pm, a 4.6-magnitude quake at 4:29 pm, and 4.8-magnitude quake at 4:32 pm.

Another quake with a magnitude of 6.2 struck shortly after, the US Geological Survey said.

The biggest of the quakes caused broadcasters to switch to special coverage and make urgent appeals for affected residents to move to higher ground.

A presenter on broadcaster NHK told viewers, “We realise your home, your belongings are all precious to you, but your lives are important above everything else. Run to the highest ground possible.”

Japan has strict building codes designed to make sure structures can resist strong earthquakes and regularly conducts emergency drills to get ready for a major shake.

But the country is still haunted by the memory of a massive 9.0-magnitude undersea quake off northeastern Japan in March 2011, which unleashed a tsunami that killed or left missing around 18,500 people.

The 2011 tsunami also caused three reactors to melt down at the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in Japan’s worst post-war disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

In March 2022, a 7.4-magnitude quake off the coast of Fukushima rattled large parts of eastern Japan, claiming three lives.

The capital Tokyo was destroyed by a huge earthquake a century ago in 1923.


By dworldgist.com

Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of www.dworldgist.com and www.gospelrespec.com. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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