Powerful Earthquake Shakes Japan on New Year’s Day; Tsunami Warning in Effect

Tokyo, Japan, 1 January 2024 – A major earthquake measuring 7 on the Japanese scale, the strongest on the scale, jolted central Japan on Monday, sending tremors across the country and triggering a tsunami warning for a vast stretch of the western coast.

The quake struck just minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day, shattering the serenity of celebrations. Initial reports indicate widespread damage in central Japan, with buildings swaying and infrastructure disrupted. Emergency services are currently assessing the situation and no casualties have been confirmed yet.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning urging residents of Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama, and Yamagata prefectures to evacuate coastal areas immediately. Waves of up to 5 meters, roughly 16 feet, are predicted to slam the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa, prompting frantic evacuations in coastal towns.

Powerful Earthquake Shakes Japan on New Year's Day
Powerful Earthquake Shakes Japan on New Year’s Day

The epicenter of the quake was located near Niigata Prefecture, triggering tremors felt as far away as Tokyo and across the Kanto region. Buildings swayed in the capital, sending residents scrambling for safety. Transportation in parts of the country has been disrupted as authorities prioritize emergency response and assess potential infrastructure damage.

The current situation remains fluid, and authorities are urging residents to stay informed and follow evacuation instructions issued by local officials. The tsunami warning remains in effect, and residents near the coast are advised to move to higher ground as a precaution.

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Key points:

  • Powerful earthquake measuring 7 on the Japanese scale struck central Japan on New Year’s Day.
  • Tsunami warning issued for Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama, and Yamagata prefectures.
  • Waves of up to 5 meters predicted for Noto Peninsula.
  • Widespread damage reported in central Japan, situation still developing.
  • Residents urged to stay informed and follow evacuation instructions.

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