Disasters & Accidents

Japan activates tsunami alert after 7.4 magnitude earthquake

Tokyo, Jan 1 (EFE).- Japan activated a tsunami alert on Monday, warning of waves of up to five meters along its western coast after a magnitude-7.4 earthquake shook the Ishikawa prefecture, in the center of the country’s main island.

The first waves, with a height of approximately 1.20 meters, reached Wajima city, about 500 km west of Tokyo at 4:21 p.m. local time, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

The national broadcaster activated emergency programming, with presenters urging people to stay away from the coast and seek shelter in upper reaches.

Authorities warned that the first waves may be followed by bigger ones. Other towns in Ishikawa and Niigata prefectures reported rising tides.

The earthquake occurred on the Noto Peninsula, in Ishikawa Prefecture, at 4:10 p.m. at a shallow depth and with an intensity of 7 on the closed Japanese scale of 7 that focuses on the destructive capacity of tremors.

Around 4:40 p.m. (7:40 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported that a strong aftershock of the earthquake shook Ishikawa.

The JMA activated the warning for waves of up to five meters in Ishikawa Prefecture and for waves of up to three meters in Fukui, Toyama, Hyogo, Niigata, and Yamagata regions.

It also implemented a general tsunami warning for the entire western coast of the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido and the north of the island of Kyushu.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that it is reviewing the status of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, in Niigata prefecture, which is the largest in the world by generation capacity.

However, the generator has remained deactivated since 2011 when a strong earthquake and tsunami hit the northeast of the country, leaving more than 20,000 dead and leading to the Fukushima atomic disaster.

The Nikkei newspaper reported that train services have been suspended in the country’s northeast and center and north of the western coast.

The office of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has convened a crisis cabinet to manage the situation. EFE


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