Strong quake prompts tsunami warning for Japan’s western coast

The Japan Times 01 Jan 2024
Strong quake prompts tsunami warning for Japan’s western coast

TOKYO: Japan was rocked Monday by a powerful earthquake measuring a 7 on Japan’s shindo scale — the strongest rating — prompting tsunami warnings for the length of the country’s western coast.

A major tsunami warning — the highest level of alert — was issued for Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula, with the weather agency warning of waves of up to 5 meters in the area. Other areas of the Sea of Japan coast, from Hokkaido to Nagasaki, were under tsunami warnings or advisories, with waves of up to 3 meters forecast.

Tsunami waves had already arrived in some areas.

The tsunami warning for Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama and Yamagata prefectures urged people to quickly leave coastal areas, with over 1.2-meter waves reaching the Noto Peninsula’s Wajima Port in Ishikawa at around 4:21 p.m., NHK reported.

People experiencing tsunami of over 1 meter are considered “highly likely to be unable to stand, with the possibility of death,” according to the Meteorological Agency.

Since the initial waves hit, the height of tsunami at Wajima Port had been increasing, although the exact measurements had yet to be determined, NHK reported.

The major tsunami warning issued for the Noto Peninsula area was the top-level alert out of three warnings and was equal to one issued after the March 2011 quake in the Tohoku region.

Speaking to reporters in the evening, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged residents of the affected areas to “continue to pay close attention in case of strong earthquakes.”

“And in areas where tsunamis are expected, I would like to request that they evacuate as soon as possible,” he said in Tokyo.

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Published On: 01 Jan 2024


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