Death toll rises as powerful earthquake devastates Japan

This aerial photo shows damaged and destroyed homes along a street in Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture on January 2, 2024, a day after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture. (Photo/AFP)

A powerful earthquake rocked central Japan on Monday, unleashing a trail of devastation that has claimed at least 30 lives and injured 14 seriously, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.

The most severe impact was felt in the coastal city of Wajima, where a raging fire further compounded the tragedy.

Ishikawa prefectural officials reported that half of the fatalities occurred in Wajima, where the earthquake triggered a massive blaze that engulfed homes and businesses.

The inferno, fueled by strong winds, left a grim scene of charred ruins and shattered lives.

Rescue efforts continued throughout the night, with firefighters battling stubborn flames and emergency teams searching for survivors amidst the rubble.

The extent of the destruction in Wajima, known for its traditional lacquerware, remains unclear as daylight reveals the full scope of the earthquake's wrath.


Aftershocks continued to shake Ishikawa prefecture on Tuesday and nearby areas a day after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake slammed the area on Monday afternoon.

The tremor triggered panic across the region, prompting residents to flee to higher ground as tsunami warnings reverberated through coastal areas. Fortunately, the tsunami threat subsided, sparing further devastation.

Beyond Wajima, other parts of Ishikawa and neighbouring prefectures like Niigata and Toyama sustained varying degrees of damage.

Hundreds of kilometres away, buildings swayed alarmingly in major cities like Osaka and Nagoya, highlighting the earthquake's wide reach. Power outages and disrupted transportation services added to the chaos, as authorities scrambled to restore order and assess the full extent of the crisis.

Japanese officials urged residents to remain vigilant and prepared for potential aftershocks, highlighting the earthquake-prone nature of the region.

Grief and concern mingled in the air as rescue operations continued, with the nation anxiously awaiting updates on the fate of those still missing.


Source: TRT