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New Year Tragedy ! Earthquake Hits Japan, Renders 100,000 Residents Homeless | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Jan 1, 2024




A strong earthquake hit central Japan on Monday resulting in the death of at least two people, the destruction of structures, loss of electricity to thousands of homes, and the evacuation of some coastal residents to higher ground.

According to Daily Mail, the preliminary magnitude 7.6 quake caused waves of around 1 metre along Japan’s west coast and bordering South Korea.

Following the quake, a bright yellow message reading “Tsunami! Evacuate!” flashed across television screens advising residents in specific areas of the coast to immediately evacuate.

The Japan Meteorological Agency initially issued a significant tsunami warning. It’s first since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed almost 20,000 people in northeast Japan.

According to the US Geological Survey, it was the greatest earthquake in the region in more than four decades.

Houses were destroyed and fires broke out and army personnel were dispatched to help with rescue operations, government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters.

More powerful quakes in the region, where seismic activity has been simmering for more than three years, are possible in the coming days, according to JMA official, Toshihiro Shimoyama.

Russia and North Korea have also issued tsunami warnings for specific areas.

According to the Japanese government, as of Monday night, more than 97,000 people in nine prefectures on Japan’s main island Honshu had been told to evacuate. They were supposed to spend the night in sports halls and school gymnasiums, which are regularly used as emergency evacuation hubs.

A Kanazawa resident, Ayako Daikai, said she and her husband and two children fled to a nearby elementary school shortly after the earthquake struck. Evacuees were crammed into classrooms, stairwells, hallways, and the gymnasium, she claimed.

Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, told reporters late Monday that he had directed search and rescue workers to do everything necessary to preserve lives, despite the fact that access to quake-affected areas was difficult owing to blocked highways.

Following the accident, the Imperial Household Agency announced that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s scheduled New Year’s appearance on Tuesday would be cancelled.

The earthquake strikes at a critical juncture for Japan’s nuclear industry, which has faced furious opposition from certain people since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that prompted nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima. The tragedy wiped out entire communities.

Japan removed an operational prohibition on the world’s largest nuclear reactor, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, which has been shut down since the 2011 tsunami.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no irregularities have been confirmed at nuclear plants along the Sea of Japan, including five active reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s (9503.T) Ohi and Takahama plants in Fukui Prefecture.

By Bisola Fatoye

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