Japan grapples with the aftermath of powerful earthquakes and tsunami warnings


Following a powerful earthquake in Japan, numerous homes collapsed, and railway services in specific regions were temporarily halted due to a substantial tsunami warning. East Japan Railway Company reported the suspension of Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen lines in response to the earthquake, as detailed by Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged the public to remain vigilant for potential stronger earthquakes. Coastal residents have been advised to evacuate to safer locations, resulting in thousands leaving Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, and other cities.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary, confirmed damage to buildings and roads, with reports of a collapsed building trapping six people under rubble. Social media images depicted significant destruction in the Ishikawa prefecture, including damage to roads and buildings. The earthquake also disrupted the power system, leaving around 32,500 homes without electricity in Ishikawa prefecture.

Japan experienced three successive powerful earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.7, 6.1, and 7.6 on Monday, prompting a tsunami warning. The epicenter was in the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture, reaching a maximum seismic intensity of 5+. The Japan Meteorological Agency announced a major tsunami warning specifically for Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, and extended alerts to Niigata, Toyama, Yamagata, Fukui, and Hyogo prefectures along the Japan Sea coast.

Residents near the coast were instructed to evacuate immediately, anticipating higher-than-estimated tsunami waves. The Cabinet office emphasised continuous evacuation to elevated areas and urged residents not to leave safe zones until the warning is lifted.

There have been no reports of abnormalities at the local nuclear power plants, according to the authoritis. South Korean authorities also issued alerts on rising sea levels in the East Sea (Sea of Japan), anticipating the impact of strong earthquakes off Japan’s west coast. The Korea Meteorological Administration warned that a Japanese tsunami could lead to increased sea levels off the east coast of South Korea.