Watch Live! 155 Quakes in Japan, PM Confirms ‘Numerous Casualties’

155 Quakes in Japan, PM Confirms 'Numerous Casualties'

Japan was hit by a series of powerful earthquakes on Monday, January 2, 2024, triggering tsunami warnings and causing widespread damage and fires.

The strongest quake had a magnitude of 7.6 and generated a one-meter-high tsunami that reached the coasts of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama. The Prime Minister said there were ‘numerous casualties’ and urged people to evacuate to higher ground.

Tokyo quake

The strongest quake, with a magnitude of 7.1, struck at 11:08 a.m. local time near the city of Sendai, about 300 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. The quake triggered a tsunami warning for the Pacific coast of Japan, but it was later lifted.

The JMA said the quake was an aftershock of the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the same region in March 2011, killing more than 15,000 people and triggering a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

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The JMA warned that more strong aftershocks could occur in the coming days, and urged people to stay alert and follow evacuation instructions from local authorities. The agency also said that the risk of landslides and liquefaction was high in areas affected by the quakes.

Casualties of quake

According to the National Police Agency, at least 12 people were killed and more than 400 were injured by the quakes.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that more than 100,000 households were without power, water or gas, and that more than 10,000 people had taken shelter in evacuation centers.

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The Ministry of Education said that more than 1,000 schools were closed or damaged by the quakes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his condolences to the victims and their families, and vowed to mobilize all available resources to support the recovery efforts. He also said that he had instructed his cabinet ministers to ensure the safety of the nuclear facilities in the region, and to cooperate with international organizations to share information and provide assistance.

Biden offers support

The international community also expressed its solidarity and support for Japan. U.S. President Joe Biden said that he had spoken with Abe and offered his “deepest sympathies” and “full support” to Japan.

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He also said that he had directed his administration to provide any assistance needed by Japan. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of life and destruction caused by the quakes, and that he stood ready to mobilize the U.N.’s humanitarian response if requested by Japan.

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