Tsunami waves reach Japan’s coast following major quakes

TOKYO, Jan 1: A series of strong earthquakes, with major ones measuring up to 7.6 magnitude, struck the central Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa on Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

A major tsunami warning has been issued by the JMA for Noto region, urging people to evacuate immediately, following tsunami warnings for Niigata, Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures of the Japan Sea side of the country.

The quake registered an intensity of 7 on the Japanese seismic scale, which peaks at 7, with tremors felt in multiple regions of the Asian country, reported Xinhua.

According to the weather agency, the latest major temblor occurred at 4.10 pm local time at a shallow depth.

The temblor’s epicentre was located at Ishikawa’s Noto region Wajima east-northeast 30 km at 37.5 degrees north latitude and a longitude of 137.2 degrees east longitude.

Ishikawa Prefecture observed tsunami waves of more than 1.2 metres at 4:21 pm local time

According to reports, Toyama prefecture on the western coast of Japan also reported tsunami waves of 50 centimetres at 4:23 pm local time.

Torrents of water could reach as high as 5 metres and authorities urged people to flee to high land or a top of a nearby building as quickly as possible, according to NHK. East Japan Railway Co. suspended operations of all Tohoku, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen lines due to the earthquakes, according to a Kyodo News report.

Hokuriku Electric Power Company said more than 36,000 houses are experiencing power outages.

The Japanese government has set up an emergency response office at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, it added.