Japan issues tsunami warning after series of earthquakes

TOKYO – Japan has issued a tsunami warning after a series of powerful earthquakes hit the Sea of ​​Japan on New Year's Day.

The quake, a magnitude 7.6, struck off the Ishika coast at 4 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The company issued tsunami warnings for the coastal areas of Niigata, Toyama and Ishikawa, where 33,000 buildings had lost power as of 6 p.m., according to power company Hokuriku Electric Power.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV warned that waves could reach up to 5 meters (16.5 feet) and urged people across the west coast to evacuate to higher ground. The earthquake was felt in the capital Tokyo.

An aerial photo shows a fire caused by a massive earthquake in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture on January 1, 2024.

An aerial photo shows a fire caused by a massive earthquake in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture on January 1, 2024.

A video was posted on X A train station in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa prefecture, was shown shaking and losing power during the quake. Another one A family showed they were hanging on as best they could after their apartment in Kanazawa was rocked.

Other videos posted on social media showed houses in some areas with roofs caved in and door frames collapsing as surrounding trees fell to the ground. In some supermarkets, goods were scattered as the ground shook.

According to Japan's Nippon TV, a wave as high as 1.2 meters (about 4 feet) was detected at Wajima Port in Ishikawa at 5:21 p.m. (3:21 a.m. ET) but had not yet breached the port's security.

The fire broke out in the center of Wajima on the northern Noto Peninsula, according to a local government report. Several people are being treated at Wajima Municipal Hospital with sprains and head injuries from falling objects, the hospital said.

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A traditional Wajima lockerware factory and about 30 houses collapsed in the city, with some trapped in the rubble, NHK reported, citing the local fire department. It added that some of them may be unconscious.

In Nano, another town on the same peninsula, there were reports of several landslides, road cracks and collapsed houses, local police said.

Houses collapse after an earthquake in Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan on January 1, 2024.  (AP via Noboru Hosono/The Yomiuri Shimbun)Houses collapse after an earthquake in Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan on January 1, 2024.  (AP via Noboru Hosono/The Yomiuri Shimbun)

Houses collapse after an earthquake in Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan on January 1, 2024. (AP via Noboru Hosono/The Yomiuri Shimbun)

An NHK camera captured the moment a two-story house collapsed in Suzu City. Other footage showed a large isolated wave crashing onto the city's beach.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters shortly after the alert that the government would provide information to the public soon.

He said they will quickly assess the extent of damages and injuries and work closely with local governments to ensure public safety.

The governor in Ishikawa has already requested military assistance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told a news conference on Monday, adding that there were no anomalies in the reactors in the affected areas.

The earthquakes and tsunami warnings have also affected the local transport situation, with several sections of highway corridors closed, train services suspended in some affected areas and Noto Airport runway closed.

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

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

This article was originally published NBCNews.com

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