At least 30 killed in Japan’s 7.6 magnitude earthquake

Destruction caused by earthquake in Japan.

Central Japan and surrounding areas were rocked by a series of powerful earthquakes, with the most significant registering 7.6 on the Richter scale, resulting in at least 30 reported deaths.

The worst-hit region, Ishikawa prefecture, experienced numerous building collapses and fires, claiming lives in Suzu and Nanao. Rescue teams are working to locate survivors, addressing a race against time, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

The government swiftly deployed self-defense force troops, with approximately 1,000 members of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces engaged in search and rescue operations in the affected areas.

While the tsunami warning for the Noto region was lifted, efforts are underway to establish sea routes to reach isolated parts of the Noto Peninsula.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had initially issued a major tsunami warning for Noto, Niigata, Toyama, and Ishikawa prefectures, prompting evacuations. As of early Tuesday morning, all tsunami advisories were lifted. Since the onset of the seismic activity on Monday, Japan has endured at least 155 earthquakes.

The aftermath has left approximately 45,700 households without power in Ishikawa prefecture, according to the Hokuriku Electric Power company. Amid the chaos, four bullet trains that had been halted during the earthquakes have now resumed service, connecting central cities Toyama and Kanazawa. Over 1,400 passengers were stranded inside the high-speed trains for more than 11 hours before reaching their destinations.

Japan, situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, experiences frequent seismic activity. The recent earthquakes revive memories of the devastating 2011 event, a 9.0-magnitude quake that triggered a tsunami, claiming nearly 18,000 lives and causing a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant, marking one of the most severe nuclear accidents since Chernobyl.

The current situation underscores the ongoing vulnerability of the region to natural disasters, prompting swift government response and rescue efforts.

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