Tsunami Alert and Earthquake Impact:

Magnitude and Location: On New Year’s Day, Japan experienced a devastating seismic event, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake striking the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture around 4:10 p.m.

Intensity and Tsunami: This quake registered a level 7 intensity on the Japanese seismic scale and triggered a significant 1.2-meter tsunami in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, merely 11 minutes later at 4:21 p.m.

Series of Tremors: Preceding and subsequent tremors, ranging between 3 to nearly 5 on the seismic scale, compounded the seismic unrest within Ishikawa Prefecture, intensifying the regional distress.

Tsunami Alerts and Warnings:

Alerts Issued: The Japan Meteorological Agency promptly issued a major tsunami alert for Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, and warnings encompassing regions like Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Fukui, Ishikawa, and Hyogo prefectures.

Tsunami Impact: Toyama and Niigata Prefectures faced waves of 0.8 meters and 0.4 meters, respectively. Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, bore visible scars of structural damage, with buildings collapsing and streets cracked.

Human Impact and Evacuation Efforts:

Civilian Response: Witnesses observed frantic evacuation efforts, with individuals seeking refuge on higher ground, either by vehicle or on foot, amidst crumbling infrastructure in Wajima.

Transport Disruptions: The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) faced operational halts on the Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen lines. Limited restoration commenced on the Tohoku Shinkansen line by approximately 4:40 p.m.

Governmental Response and Power Outages:

Prime Minister’s Directive: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressed the media, urging immediate evacuation for those in tsunami warning zones. The government’s proactive stance aimed to evaluate the damage, prioritize public safety, and execute rescue operations.

Power Outages: Around 36,000 households in Ishikawa Prefecture grappled with power outages by 5 p.m., a stark consequence of the day’s seismic activity.

Devastation in Wajima:

Structural Collapse: Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, witnessed a scene of devastation as numerous buildings collapsed, leaving individuals trapped beneath the debris.

Human Tragedy: Reports emerged of six cases of individuals buried alive due to structural collapses, an alarming reality confirmed during Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi’s emergency press conference.

Government’s Immediate Action Plan:

Governmental Orders: Prime Minister Kishida promptly directed ministries and agencies to assess damages, prioritize public safety, conduct swift rescue operations, and disseminate accurate information to the public.

Mitigating Chaos: The government’s swift response sought to mitigate chaos and address the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, aiming to provide relief in the wake of the disaster.

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