Powerful Earthquakes Leave at Least Eight Dead, JAPAN – WAJIMA A series of violent earthquakes struck western Japan on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and destroying buildings, automobiles, and boats, with officials telling people in some areas to remain away from their homes due to the danger of further powerful quakes.
Powerful Earthquakes Leave at Least Eight Dead, Destroy Buildings
A day after a magnitude 7.6 temblor struck the area on Monday afternoon, aftershocks continued to batter Ishikawa prefecture and surrounding territories.
Officials confirmed the deaths of eight people in Wajima city. Seven people were critically hurt, and the damage to residences was so extensive that it could not be assessed quickly, they said.
According to the Kyodo news agency, at least 13 deaths have been confirmed.
“Our priority is to save lives, and we are fighting a race against time,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated on Tuesday. “It is critical that people trapped in homes get rescued immediately.”
While he was speaking, the area was shaken by a 5.6-magnitude earthquake.
Kishida said Japan’s military has sent 1,000 soldiers to disaster areas to help with rescue efforts, emphasizing that they were dealing with “large-scale damage.” Details of the destroyed homes were still being investigated, he said.
Firefighters fought a fire in Wajima City that darkened the sky with embers and smoke.
According to nuclear regulators, several nuclear facilities in the region are running normally. A huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused three reactors at a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan to melt and emit large amounts of radioactivity.
Rows of toppled houses were shown in news footage. Some wooden structures were destroyed, and cars were flipped over. Ships half-sunk floated in bays where tsunami waves had poured in, leaving a muddy coastline.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa on Monday, as well as lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of Japan’s main island of Honshu and the northern island of Hokkaido.
Several hours later, the alert was lowered, and all tsunami warnings were withdrawn as of early Tuesday. Some areas were impacted by waves taller than one meter.
The organization warned that other strong quakes could strike the area in the coming days.
People who had been forced to flee their homes crowded in auditoriums, schools, and community centers. Bullet trains were suspended in the region, however service was being restored in some areas. Highway sections were stopped, water pipes burst, and cellular service was disrupted in certain regions.
In a statement, US President Joe Biden stated his administration was “ready to provide any necessary assistance for the Japanese people.”
Because of its location in the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin, Japan is frequently struck by earthquakes.