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Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 18:27 IST

Japan Earthquake: At least 48 killed in Japan as another quake reported

On the first day of 2024, Japan witnessed a massive earthquake that rocked the Ishikawa prefecture and multiple areas in Tokyo. Shortly after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake started to wreak havoc, the authorities issued a Tsunami warning.

A massive 7.6 magnitude earthquakes rock Japan.
A massive 7.6 magnitude earthquakes rock Japan. | Image: AP
4: 58 IST, January 2nd 2024

Accessing the northern Noto Peninsula remains highly challenging, given that it houses the epicenter of the 7.6 magnitude quake and has suffered the most severe damage. The local airports are experiencing significant delays or complete closures, and certain connecting roads are damaged and inaccessible to vehicles.

 

4: 42 IST, January 2nd 2024

The Japanese Coast Guard plane, which was part of the collision incident at Haneda airport (as mentioned in our 9:47 am update), had a mission to provide assistance to the Niigata area. This northern region along the west coast was severely affected by yesterday's earthquake and experienced a 40-centimeter tsunami in the afternoon.

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2: 38 IST, January 2nd 2024

Emergency personnel are aiding the evacuation of Suzu city residents from their homes. Japan's Self-Defense Forces are carrying elderly women on their backs, and additional individuals are being transported on stretchers.

12: 47 IST, January 2nd 2024

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi comments on the quake response, noting around 900 emergency calls and approximately 120 individuals awaiting rescue.

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7: 27 IST, January 2nd 2024

After a series of earthquakes in Japan on January 1, the authorities had issued a major alert for a Tsunami. However, a day later, the Tsunami warning has been lowered and is no longer urgent.

11: 58 IST, January 1st 2024

NHK has reported that around 1,400 passengers remain stranded in four West Japan Railway trains that have come to a halt. According to the railway operator, the trains remain powered, air conditioners are still functioning and food has been delivered to passengers by car.  

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10: 49 IST, January 1st 2024

Quoting firefighters and locals, Kyodo News has reported that a fire has broken out in the city of Wajima, catching several wooden houses in the conflagration. “It looked as if more than 10 buildings were on fire," said a Wajima local. 

11: 57 IST, January 1st 2024

NHK news has reported that around 33,000 houses across Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama prefectures have yet to have power restored after the earthquake and resultant tsunami today. 

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10: 30 IST, January 1st 2024

Quoting Japan's weather agency, Sky News has reported that all tsunami warnings issued earlier in the day have now been further downgraded to the level of an advisory. The advisory now suggests that tsunami waves measuring up to a metre in height could still strike affected regions.

9: 46 IST, January 1st 2024

NHK news has reported that fire department officials in Ishikawa are continuing to receive calls from people who are still trapped underneath their collapsed houses. Rescue operations continue but fire officials are overloaded by the sheer number of calls they are receiving. 

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9: 39 IST, January 1st 2024

Citing local news broadcaster NTV, Reuters reported that one elderly man in Ishikawa's Shika Town was pronounced dead following a building collapse. 

8: 35 IST, January 1st 2024

“We are doing our best to gather local information regarding the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, and a Cabinet Office investigation team headed by the State Minister for Disaster Prevention has also arrived in Kanazawa by Self-Defense Force aircraft,” said Japan PM.

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8: 34 IST, January 1st 2024

“We are sequentially dispatching the Self-Defense Forces to disaster relief, the police's Wide Area Emergency Relief Team, and the fire department's Emergency Fire Relief Team,” said Japan's PM Fumio Kishida.

8: 18 IST, January 1st 2024

In Ishikawa, a shop worker, Takashi Wakabayashi, reported a surge in customers after the earthquakes. While some items fell off shelves, the real issue was the large crowds seeking supplies like bottled water, rice balls, and bread.

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7: 50 IST, January 1st 2024

Japan's meteorological agency reports over 80 earthquakes today, ranging from magnitudes 7.6 to 3, with activity ongoing since 7:10 am. The majority occurred near Noto in Ishikawa, where the strongest quake occurred. Additional seismic events have been recorded off the coasts of Joetsu, Chuetsu, the Iyonada Sea, and Niigata.

7: 44 IST, January 1st 2024

Public broadcaster NHK reports a 7-magnitude earthquake striking a region of Japan around 11 pm local time.

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7: 12 IST, January 1st 2024

Japan dropped its highest-level tsunami alert, issued following a series of major earthquakes on Monday, but told residents of coastal areas not to return to their homes as deadly waves could still come. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported more than a dozen quakes in the Japan Sea off the coast of Ishikawa and nearby prefectures shortly after 4 p.m.

6: 38 IST, January 1st 2024

Wajima city's local fire department reports over 30 collapsed buildings in Ishikawa, the epicenter of the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. More than 20 aftershocks have followed. Chief cabinet secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi notes trapped individuals, with no confirmed deaths or injuries yet, emphasizing the ongoing uncertainty.

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6: 46 IST, January 1st 2024

Japan's weather agency issues a second warning today. In a brief news conference, an official emphasizes a ‘very high risk’ of building collapses, with strong tremors expected to persist for the ‘next two to three days.’

5: 41 IST, January 1st 2024

In regions impacted by Japan's tsunami warnings, residents are seeking refuge on higher ground, while others across the country closely monitor the news.

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5: 24 IST, January 1st 2024

A magnitude 5 aftershock struck the Noto Peninsula at 8:35 pm, prompting alerts for residents to be cautious about potential structural collapses. "Major tsunami warnings" for Noto were shifted to "tsunami warnings" at 8:30 pm, while advisories remained for most of the Sea of Japan coast, categorized based on expected wave heights: major warnings for 5 meters or higher, warnings for up to 3 meters, and advisories for up to 1 meter.

5: 16 IST, January 1st 2024

The initial "major tsunami warning" issued for the Noto region has been revised to a “tsunami warning.”

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5: 04 IST, January 1st 2024

Japan's public broadcaster NHK has shared video footage capturing the aftermath of the earthquakes. Tsunami waves have reached certain coastal regions, prompting urgent evacuation advisories for residents near coasts and rivers. Officials caution about potential recurrent tsunamis and the looming threat of another significant earthquake in the days ahead.

4: 44 IST, January 1st 2024

Reports indicate that six individuals are trapped beneath the debris of collapsed homes on the Noto Peninsula. Presently, there is no information regarding their condition.

Fires in Wajima city on the peninsula have seemingly ravaged at least six houses. As of now, there are no reports of injuries or fatalities. Evacuated residents have sought refuge at a local police station's judo and kendo dojo. However, there are concerns as no emergency supplies are reportedly available for them.

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4: 20 IST, January 1st 2024

Japan's Meteorological Agency said that the Monday earthquake was the largest ever to be recorded in the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture. An agency official also says that the tsunami warning issued earlier was the first major alert of its kind since March 2011 when the country was struck with the most powerful earthquakes on record.

3: 46 IST, January 1st 2024

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has made it clear that there were no issues detected with the reactors at any of the nuclear power plants in the affected area. However, the authorities noted that oil spillages and other minor damage have been confirmed at nuclear facilities in the area, The Guardian reported. The NRA assured that it would continue to monitor and provide updates on the situation. 

A bookshelf falls at a home in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, Japan Sunday, Jan. 1, 2024, Image: AP
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3: 33 IST, January 1st 2024

Over 32,500 homes in Japan's Ishikawa prefecture were left without power after the country was rocked by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. Tsunami warnings have been issued along coastal regions of western Japan, and people have been urged to evacuate following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake. While the residents were evacuated following the quake the volunteers are struggling in the region without power, CNN reported. 

3: 16 IST, January 1st 2024

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued his first formal statement on the devastating earthquake that rocked Japan. In the statement, the Japanese premier noted that the authorities are taking the ‘human first approach’. “In response to the earthquake with a maximum seismic intensity of 7 in the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture, we immediately set up the Prime Minister's Office Response Office and recently established the Specific Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters,” Kishida wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. “Based on our policy of putting human lives first, we are making every effort to assess the damage situation and implement emergency disaster response measures. Everyone in the area, please pay close attention to the latest information and make life-saving actions your top priority,” Kishida added. 

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3: 08 IST, January 1st 2024

After a massive earthquake rocked Japan, the Indian embassy in the country issued emergent contact numbers for Indian nationals who were struggling amid the calamity. “Embassy has set up an emergency control room for anyone to contact in connection with the Earthquake and Tsunami on January 1, 2024," the embassy wrote in a statement. “The following Emergency numbers and email IDs may be contacted for any assistance,” the embassy furthered. 

2: 56 IST, January 1st 2024

Image: AP

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2: 48 IST, January 1st 2024

The Japanese authorities issued another earthquake warning to Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama, Nagano prefectures after the county witnessed 20 tremors off the coast of Ishikawa and neighbouring Niigata prefectures between 4.06 pm and 5.29 pm local time. Blackouts and burst water mains have been reported in towns in the affected area, while major roads are being closed due to cracks and other damage, the Guardian reported. The authorities have also issued Tsunami warnings in the northern island of Hokkaido and the southern island of Kyushu.

2: 43 IST, January 1st 2024

After Japan was rocked by multiple earthquakes in the Ishikawa and neighbouring Niigata prefectures, the Russian authorities issued a tsunami threat in the Sakhalin area. “A tsunami alert has been declared and no evacuation is being carried out," the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations for the region told Tass. 

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2: 37 IST, January 1st 2024

As Japan grapples with the horrors of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, the authorities have upgraded the Tsunami warning to the ‘major’ category. Major Tsunami Warning – 1/1, 4:22 pm. The Tsunami Warning has been upgraded to a Major Tsunami Warning. Waves of up to 5m are expected. Those near coastal areas, rivers, or lakes should evacuate to higher ground immediately. #tsunami," Earthquake tracker NERV wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. 

2: 18 IST, January 1st 2024

Shortly after a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan, the country witnessed the first wave of Tsunami sticking to the coastal areas of the Asian nation. In light of the situation, Japan PMO issued instructions to the residents of the affected region. 

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