A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.5 struck Japan on Monday, resulting in at least six fatalities, according to NHK World. The United States Geological Survey pinpointed the epicenter on the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa prefecture, occurring around 4.10 pm local time at a depth of 10 kilometers.
The quake caused buildings to crumble and fires to ignite, prompting tsunami warnings as far away as eastern Russia. Residents in Japan’s coastal areas were ordered to evacuate immediately.
In the aftermath, a significant fire erupted in Wajima, a city in central Japan. The quake’s tremors led to the destruction of over 100 shops and houses, NHK World reported.
The Shika nuclear power facility in Ishikawa Prefecture experienced a blast and a burning stench, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Despite a transformer failure, the operator assured that backup mechanisms enabled the two nuclear reactors to continue operating as intended.
Major mobile phone providers in Japan reported service disruptions in the earthquake-affected prefectures, NHK World reported. Furthermore, some services of Shinkansen bullet trains were suspended following the earthquake, as reported by CNN citing train operator JR East. The JR Hokuriku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines were suspended as of 6.50 pm local time, with services on other lines also facing delays.
In response to the crisis, the Japan PM Office issued instructions for officials to provide timely and accurate information to the public regarding the tsunami and evacuation. It urged officials to take thorough measures to prevent damage, such as the evacuation of residents, and to assess the state of affairs regarding damage as soon as possible.
The Japan PM Office further emphasized the need for officials to act in close coordination with local governments and prioritize human life above all else. “Spare no effort in our emergency disaster responses, including saving lives and rescuing disaster victims, with the Government working as one,” it added.
In related news, the Indian Embassy in Japan has set up an emergency room for anyone to contact in connection with the earthquake and tsunami warnings on January 1. It has issued emergency contact numbers for Indian citizens after the strong earthquake and tsunami warnings in Japan.
The embassy stated, “Embassy has set up an emergency control room for anyone to contact in connection with the Earthquake and Tsunami on January 1, 2024. The following Emergency numbers and email IDs may be contacted for any assistance.”