Japan issues tsunami warning after strong earthquakes in the Sea of Japan


TOKYO — Japan issued a tsunami warning after a series of strong earthquakes struck the Sea of Japan on New Year’s Day.

Quakes occurred off the coast of Ishika and nearby prefectures after 4 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) with one reaching a magnitude of 7.6, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency issued tsunami warnings to the coastal prefectures of Niigata, Toyama and Ishikawa where 33,000 buildings had lost power as of 6 p.m. (4 a.m, ET) , according to electricity company Hokuriku Electric Power.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV warned the waves could reach as high as 5 meters (16.5 feet) and urged people on the entire west coast to escape to the highest place as soon as possible. Tremors were felt in the capital, Tokyo.

A video posted to X showed a train station in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, shaking and losing power during an earthquake. Another showed a family clinging on to whatever they could as their apartment in Kanazawa rocked wildly.

The tallest wave so far was 1.2 meters (around 4 feet) detected at Wajima Port in Ishikawa at 5:21 p.m (3:21 a.m. ET), according to Japan’s Nippon TV, but had not yet breached the port’s defenses.

A fire broke out in the center of Wajima on the northern Noto Peninsula, according to the local government statement. Several people with sprains and head injuries from fallen objects were being treated at Wajima Municipal Hospital, the hospital said.

In Nanao, another city on the same peninsula, there have been reports of several landslides, road cracks and collapsed homes, local police said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said to the reporters at his office shortly after the warnings that the government will provide information to the public as soon as possible.

He added that they will ascertain the extent of damages and injuries swiftly, and work closely with the local governments to ensure public safety.

The governor in Ishikawa has already requested military assistance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a press briefing Monday, adding that there have been no anomalies with nuclear reactors in the affected areas.

The quakes and tsunami warnings also affected the local transportation situation, he said, with several sections of highway routes closed, train services in some affected areas suspended and the Noto airport runway shut down.

This is a developing story — check back here for updates soon.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo; Larissa Gao reported from Hong Kong.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com


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