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Major earthquake hits Japan

Major earthquake hits Japan
A man searches his belongings near his damaged house at a devastated area in Rikuzentakata,   -  
Copyright © africanews
Lee Jin-man/AP2011


A formidable earthquake struck central Japan on Monday, resulting in the loss of at least one life, widespread building destruction, power outages in tens of thousands of households, and compelling residents in coastal regions to seek refuge on higher ground.

The seismic event, boasting a preliminary magnitude of 7.6, generated approximately 1-meter-high waves along Japan's west coast and adjacent South Korea. Authorities have cautioned that more significant waves may ensue, heightening concerns for the affected regions.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) promptly issued tsunami warnings for the prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama. Initially, Ishikawa faced a major tsunami warning – the first since the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan – but this was subsequently downgraded. Russia and North Korea also issued tsunami alerts for specific areas.

As rescue operations intensify, the aftermath is revealed with houses reduced to rubble, fires raging, and military personnel mobilized to assist. Government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi conveyed that authorities are diligently evaluating the extent of the damage.

Regrettably, one elderly man lost his life in Shika Town, Ishikawa, following a building collapse, as reported by broadcaster NTV, citing local police.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, addressing the press, affirmed that search and rescue teams have been instructed to exert every effort to save lives. However, the challenging access to quake-hit areas, owing to blocked roads, poses a considerable obstacle.

The earthquake-prone region, experiencing seismic activity for over three years, faces the looming possibility of additional strong quakes in the coming days, warns JMA official Toshihiro Shimoyama. The situation remains dynamic, emphasizing the ongoing need for vigilance and swift response in the face of the unfolding crisis.

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