Four confirmed dead following powerful earthquakes in Japan

Steph Deschamps / January 3, 2024

Powerful earthquakes struck central Japan on Monday, causing extensive damage and triggering a tsunami more than a metre high in places, while the population of the affected areas was asked to evacuate to higher ground. According to the Japanese authorities, quoted by the Kyodo news agency, four people died as a result of these earthquakes.
 
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Ishikawa prefecture, on the Sea of Japan side of the main island of Honshu, at 4.10pm, according to the US Geophysical Institute (USGS).
 
The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) has recorded more than 50 earthquakes of magnitude 3.2 or greater in the space of four hours on the Noto peninsula, in the north of Ishikawa prefecture, which borders the Sea of Japan.
 
The magnitude 7.5 earthquake was felt as far away as Tokyo, more than 300 km as the crow flies from Noto.
 
A tsunami warning was immediately issued by the JMA, warning that five-metre-high waves were to be feared. However, the threat of a tsunami has now been "largely averted", according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), a US agency based in Hawaii.
 
Damage caused directly by earthquakes was more extensive, particularly on older houses, usually built of wood.
 
Government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi said he was aware of "six cases" of people in collapsed buildings in Ishikawa prefecture.
 
Around 33,500 homes were without power in the three Japanese counties of Ishikawa, Toyama and Niigata, all of which lie on the Sea of Japan, according to local electricity suppliers.
 
Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.
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