Japanese authorities issued tsunami alerts and evacuation announcements Monday after a series of earthquakes shook the west part of the main island.
A 7.6 magnitude earthquake was reported around 4 p.m., the strongest of more than a dozen documented by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Major tsunami warnings were issued for Ishikawa prefecture, while the rest of the country’s western coast was also issued less severe warnings.
“Every minute counts. Please evacuate to a safe area immediately,” said government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi.
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State television station NHK warned residents of rising water up to 16.5 feet.
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A 10-foot tsunami was predicted to make landfall in Niigata prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan.
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The earthquakes disrupted train lines, cut off power to multiple areas, and ignited fires in residential buildings necessitating emergency response.
The Japanese Self-Defense Force is contributing to disaster relief in multiple prefectures. No deaths have been confirmed from the natural disasters yet.
Meteorologists say there’s a possibility for further powerful quakes in the next several days.
The New Year’s Day natural disasters raised tsunami concerns across the sea in both North Korea and Russia.
Additionally, South Korea’s meteorological authorities announced heightened caution, urging vigilance on the country’s eastern coast in case of delayed after-effects.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the press that an emergency center has been established to collect and disseminate information on the earthquake and tsunami risk as the situation develops.
Tsunami warnings are still in place and evacuation orders are still ongoing.
Original article source: Japan issues tsunami warnings, orders evacuations after earthquakes