A formidable Japan’s earthquake struck central part of country on Monday, leaving a trail of destruction, prompting evacuations, and disrupting everyday life. The quake, registering a preliminary magnitude of 7.6, triggered waves along parts of the Sea of Japan coast, raising concerns and warnings for potentially more giant waves to follow.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) swiftly issued tsunami warnings for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama, urging residents to move to safer ground. Although a significant tsunami warning was initially declared for Ishikawa, it was later downgraded, mitigating some immediate concerns.
Following the Japan’s Earthquake, reports of catastrophic damage appeared, including collapsed structures and power and utility outages. Yoshimasa Hayashi, a government spokeswoman, recognized the devastation and stated that rescue operations were underway, with military personnel ready to assist. The exact amount of the damage, however, has yet to be determined.
This seismic event rattled an area where seismic activity had been simmering for over three years, prompting JMA official Toshihiro Shimoyama to be cautious about the possibility of further strong quakes in the upcoming days.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued a stern warning, urging residents to remain vigilant and prepared for potential additional seismic events. A sense of urgency echoed through the nation as flashing signs urged specific coastal areas to evacuate immediately, heightening the alarm.
Images and reports flooded in, depicting scenes of chaos and destruction. In coastal cities like Suzu and Wajima, structures crumbled into dust, roads cracked open, and panicked individuals grappled with the crisis. NHK reported over 30 collapsed buildings in Wajima, depicting the gravity of the situation.
The Japan’s Earthquake impact extended beyond the epicentre, reaching Tokyo, approximately 500 km away. Power outages affected more than 36,000 households in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, adding to the widespread disruption caused by the tremor.
Transportation and communication networks faced severe disruptions. High-speed rail services to Ishikawa were suspended, while telecom giants Softbank and KDDI reported service disruptions in Ishikawa and Niigata. Japanese airlines, ANA and Japan Airlines altered flight routes and schedules, cancelling services to affected regions.
Nuclear Facilities Stable, No Irregularities Detected Following Central Japan’s Earthquake:
While the Japan’s Earthquake raised concerns about nuclear facilities, the Nuclear Regulation Authority confirmed no irregularities at the active reactors. Stations along the Sea of Japan, including Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi and Takahama plants, remained stable. Hokuriku’s Shika plant in Ishikawa, closest to the quake’s epicentre, had already shut down its reactors before the earthquake for routine inspections and reported no impact.
The nation, scarred by the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan and the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, faced a grim reminder of nature’s unpredictable force.
This catastrophe struck on a public holiday when millions traditionally visit temples to mark the new year. Tourist hubs like Kanazawa saw shrines damaged, and residents and visitors evacuated to safer zones, recalling past seismic disasters.
In Kanazawa, Ayako Daikai and her family sought refuge at an elementary school, mirroring the precautions taken during the Great Hanshin Earthquake, showing the enduring impact of past traumas on preparedness measures.
Even tourists, like Taiwanese snowboarder Johnny Wu in Nagano, felt the quake’s tremors, disrupting their snow sports plans. Being familiar with seismic events, Wu reflected on the panic and expressed concerns about the escalation of the situation.
As Japan grapples with the aftermath of this powerful quake, the nation remains on edge, hoping for stability and safety while dealing with the aftermath of this alarming seismic event.