Japan earthquake update: January 1, 2024

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Japan earthquake update: Authorities are advising individuals to swiftly move to higher ground or the upper floors of nearby buildings in the wake of a significant earthquake. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported a preliminary magnitude 7.6 earthquake striking north-central Japan on Monday afternoon. Subsequently, a tsunami warning was issued for the coastal regions of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama prefectures.

The quake affected Ishikawa and neighboring prefectures, with one of them registering a preliminary magnitude of 7.4. NHK reported waves exceeding 1 meter hitting the coast of Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture. A torii gate at a shrine in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, was damaged during the earthquake.

NHK TV cautioned about potential water torrents reaching up to 5 meters (16.5 feet) and urgently recommended that people seek higher ground or the top floors of nearby buildings. Currently, there are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

This event is a reminder of Japan's vulnerability to earthquakes, with the traumatic memory of the devastating 9.0-magnitude undersea quake in March 2011 and the subsequent tsunami that resulted in approximately 18,500 casualties. In March 2022, a 7.4-magnitude quake off the coast of Fukushima claimed three lives. Tokyo, the capital, also experienced significant devastation from a massive earthquake in 1923.

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