February 25, 2024

Strong earthquake in Japan: tsunami hits the ground

On New Year's Day, Japan shakes 21 times in 90 minutes. The strongest earthquake reached a magnitude of 7.6.

The earthquake left its mark in the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.


(Reuters/DPA) A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck central Japan on New Year's Day. Japanese television stations also reported, on Monday evening (local time), that several houses had collapsed in the affected areas on the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan. Individual streets and parking lots were torn up, and a fire broke out in a factory.

The earthquake occurred at 4:10 pm local time (8:10 am CET). According to the meteorological agency, the epicenter of the earthquake was in the Noto area at a shallow depth. Within 90 minutes, the Earth shook 21 times with a force greater than 4.

Then a tsunami about one meter high struck parts of the west coast along the Sea of ​​Japan. A spokeswoman for the station constantly and urgently urged residents to seek safety on higher ground. Several nuclear power plants operate on the affected West Coast. No damage to the facilities has been reported so far.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Anamizo

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama. Chief government spokesman Hayashi Yoshimasa said in an emergency press conference that authorities were still assessing the extent of the damage. High-speed trains have been temporarily suspended.

Pictures broadcast by NHK showed collapsed buildings in Ishikawa. In the capital, Tokyo, on the opposite coast, earthquakes shook buildings. More than 36,000 homes were without power in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, according to Hokuriku Electric Power Company.

Japan's nuclear regulatory authority said it found no violations at nuclear power plants along the Sea of ​​Japan, including the five active reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Ohi and Takahama plants in Fukui Prefecture. The agency said that the Shika power plant in Hokuriku in Ishikawa Prefecture, closest to the epicenter, had already shut down its two reactors for regular pre-quake inspections and had not seen any effects from the quake.

TV channels in Japan urge people to move to higher altitudes.

TV channels in Japan urge people to move to higher altitudes.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Compared to the March 2011 tsunami, the tsunami waves this time were much smaller. At that time, a 9-magnitude earthquake caused a huge tsunami that destroyed large areas in the northeast of the archipelago and killed about 20,000 people. There was a disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.

More is coming.