Tsunami Warnings Lifted in Japan; Death Toll Reaches 48

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Tsunami Warnings Lifted in Japan; Death Toll Reaches 48
Tokyo: Japan has been hit by 155 earthquakes since Monday including the main 7.6-magnitude jolt that struck Ishikawa and another over 6, the Japan Meteorological Office said on Tuesday. They said that most of the earthquakes were of magnitude higher than 3 on the Richter scale. They also said that even though the strength gradually moderated, at least six strong jolts were still felt on Tuesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the earthquake that struck central Japan on New Year’s Day caused “extensive” damage with numerous casualties. He said that authorities are in a “race against time” to rescue victims.

“Very extensive damage has been confirmed, including numerous casualties, building collapses and fires,” Kishida was quoted as saying by media. A report by media said that Japan, however, has lifted all tsunami warnings.

Monday’s major temblor killed 48 people, according to media, and triggered tsunami waves over a metre high. The earthquake damaged homes and sparked a major fire that caused damage overnight. The authorities are still assessing the scale of the damage from Monday’s quake.

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Japanese news broadcasters showed footage of toppled buildings, sunken boats at a port and countless charred homes indicating the damage caused by the earthquake. Several citizens were out in the cold, without electricity, in freezing overnight temperatures.

The port of Wajima was hit by waves of at least four feet high and a series of smaller tsunamis were reported in other parts of the country.

In Suzu, aerial footage shared by Japanese broadcasters showed sunken boats at the city’s fishing port and devastation from a major fire in Wajima. Over 32,700 homes were without power on Tuesday.

The Japanese fire and disaster management agency ordered tens of thousands of people to evacuate. The nation’s defence ministry said around 1,000 people were staying at a military base.

A major fire engulfed a row of houses in Wajima. Japanese officials evacuated people in the dark with some of them carrying babies and blankets. Wajima Fire Department officials said they are overwhelmed with rescue requests and reports of damages. They said they received over a dozen reports of structural damage.


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