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Powerful Japan earthquakes leave 30 dead, destroy building: Top updates

Jan 01, 2024 02:53 PM IST

Japan earthquake: An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 hit Japan, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami warning.

Japan earthquake updates: Back-to-back powerful earthquakes hit western Japan, leaving at least 30 people dead and damaging buildings, vehicles and boats, with officials warning people in some areas on Tuesday to stay away from their homes because of a risk of more strong quakes.

This grab of a video that surfaced on social media purportedly shows a building collapsing during a strong earthquake in Ishikawa prefecture in Japan..

Aftershocks continued to shake Ishikawa prefecture and nearby areas a day after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the area on Monday afternoon.

Japan earthquake: What we know so far:

  • Thirty people were confirmed dead in Ishikawa, officials said. Seven others were seriously injured, while damage to homes was so great that it could not immediately be assessed, officials said.
  • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that “saving lives is our priority and we are fighting a battle against time". He added that it is critical that people trapped in homes get rescued immediately.
  • A quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 shook the area as he was speaking. Japan's military dispatched 1,000 soldiers to the disaster zones to join rescue efforts, Kishida said, stressing they were facing "large-scale damage.” Details of damaged homes were still under investigation, he said.
  • Firefighters were able to bring a fire under control in Wajima city which had reddened the sky with embers and smoke.
  • Nuclear regulators said several nuclear plants in the region were operating normally. A major quake and tsunami in March 2011 caused three reactors to melt and release large amounts of radiation at a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.
  • News videos showed rows of collapsed houses. Some wooden structures were flattened and cars were overturned. Half-sunken ships floated in bays where tsunami waves had rolled in, leaving a muddied coastline.
  • On Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the western coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu, as well as for the northern island of Hokkaido.
  • The warning was downgraded several hours later, and all tsunami warnings were lifted as of early Tuesday. Waves measuring more than one meter (3 feet) hit some places.

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(With input from agencies)

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