Japan: Major tsunami warning issued after powerful tremors hit Ishikawa
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quakes hit Ishikawa and nearby north-central prefectures, prompting the authorities to issue major tsunami warnings in the area and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the northwestern coast of the island of Honshu.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV warned torrents of water could reach as high as 16.5ft (5m) and urged people to flee to high land or the tops of nearby buildings as quickly as possible.
Kansai Electric said it was monitoring a nuclear plant in the quake area but that it did not yet see any signs of abnormalities.
South Korea’s meteorological agency also issued a warning saying the sea level in some parts of the Gangwon province on the east coast may rise after the Japanese earthquake.
Tsunami warnings issued in Russia and North Korea
Warnings of waves up to 3ft high were also issued for parts of North Korea and Russia.
Russian officials issued a tsunami alert for the island of Sakhalin, warning that areas across the island’s west coast could be affected by the waves.
In pictures: Cracks seen on the ground in Ishikawa prefecture
Government advises residents to evacuate to safe areas
Government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi said it was critical for people in coastal areas to get away from the oncoming tsunami.
“Every minute counts. Please evacuate to a safe area immediately,” he said.
A tsunami about 10ft (3m) high was expected to hit Niigata and other prefectures on the western coast of Japan. Smaller tsunami waves were already confirmed to have reached the coastline, according to NHK.
No irregularities at nuclear power plants along Sea of Japan
Nuclear Regulation Authority said no irregularities have been confirmed at nuclear power plants along the Sea of Japan, including five active reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi and Takahama plants in Fukui Prefecture.
Hokuriku’s Shika plant in Ishikawa, which was located the closest to the quake’s epicentre, had already halted its two reactors before the quake for regular inspection and saw no impact from the quake, the agency said.
A huge earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan on 11 March 2011, killing nearly 20,000 people, devastating towns and triggering nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima.
Authorities still assessing extent of damage as over 36,000 homes lose power
Authorities were still checking the extent of the damage, said top government spokesperson Hayashi Yoshimasa said in an emergency press conference as he warned residents to prepare for possible further quakes.
Footage aired by NHK appeared to show buildings collapsing in Ishikawa, and tremors shook buildings in the capital Tokyo on the opposite coast.
More than 36,000 households lost power in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, utilities provider Hokuriku Electric Power said.
In video: Major tsunami warning issued after powerful tremors hit Ishikawa
Japan says 5 metre tsunami expected after 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Ishikawa
The tsunami warning has been issued for the coastal regions of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama prefectures, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
People living in coastal areas have been urged to quickly evacuate as waves of up to 5 metres are expected to slam the shoreline, public broadcaster NHK said, and to remain in place until all warnings are lifted.
My colleague Shweta Sharma reports:
People urged to evacuate quickly as tsunami up to 5-metres tall expected to northern shores
Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog for 1 January 2024, where we provide the latest on the tsunami warning issued in Japan after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies