Powerful Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Central Japan: Evacuations, Power Loss, and Disruptions Reported

Powerful Earthquake and Tsunami Strike Central Japan

A powerful earthquake and tsunami have struck central Japan and its western coast, causing residents to evacuate and leading to power outages, disrupted flights, and rail services in the affected region. According to reports from public broadcaster NHK, the initial magnitude 7.6 earthquake has generated small waves, approximately 1 meter in height, along parts of the Sea of Japan coast. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued tsunami warnings for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama, and Russia has also issued tsunami warnings in Vladivostok and Nakhodka, its far eastern cities.

Evacuations and Disruptions Follow as Quake Hits

Authorities are assessing the damage caused by the earthquake, and residents are urged to remain vigilant for any potential aftershocks, according to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in an interview aired on NHK. “Residents need to stay on alert for further possible quakes, and I urge people in areas where tsunamis are expected to evacuate as soon as possible,” Kishida emphasized. Footage aired by NHK revealed dramatic scenes of a building collapsing in the coastal city of Suzu, with residents seeking shelter under tables as tremors shook their homes. The earthquake also affected buildings in the capital, Tokyo, located on the opposite coast.

Over 36,000 households in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures have lost power due to the quake, reported Hokuriku Electric Power. As a result, high-speed rail services to Ishikawa have been temporarily suspended. Additionally, telecom operators Softbank and KDDI have reported disruption in phone and internet services in Ishikawa and Niigata. Japanese airlines ANA and Japan Airlines have redirected and canceled their flights to affected regions.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan confirmed no abnormalities at nuclear power plants along the Sea of Japan, including the Ohi and Takahama plants in Fukui Prefecture, operated by Kansai Electric Power. The Shika plant, situated in Ishikawa and closest to the epicenter, had already shut down its two reactors before the quake for routine inspection and remained unaffected by the earthquake, assured the agency.

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