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Terrifying videos capture moment Japan was hit by lethal 7.6 magnitude earthquake
Image composite: X video, @Reuters - Screenshots

Terrifying videos capture moment Japan was hit by lethal 7.6 magnitude earthquake

Japan rang in the new year with tsunami alarms after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake rocked the country's west coast Monday afternoon. Even though the colossal waves never came, the destruction on the Noto Peninsula in the central prefecture of Ishikawa was nevertheless extensive.

Scores of lives have been confirmed lost. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to smoldering rubble. Thousands on the Noto Peninsula proceed into 2024 homeless.

Despite the enduring aftershocks affecting the region, efforts are now underway to locate additional survivors in the ruins.

The Japanese office overseeing disaster prevention indicated Monday that a 7.6-magnitude earthquake centered in Noto shook the western coast. The Japan Meteorological Agency assigned the quake a seismic intensity rating of seven — the highest possible.

The U.S. Geological Survey indicated that the primary quake was the most powerful the west coast had seen since 1970.

The quake was preceded by a report of a similarly strong tremor in the area and has been followed since by dozens of lesser quakes in the area of magnitudes of up to 5.7 on the Richter scale. The JMA suggested that sporadic aftershocks nearly as strong as the initial quake could strike for up to a week.

Officials advised residents to evacuate "to even higher ground wherever possible" and to expect high and repeated tsunami waves. While waves as high as four feet were reported following the quake, the region was spared the kind of behemothic waves Japan suffered following the March 2011 8.9-magnitude quake in the country's northeast.

While the JMA has downgraded its tsunami alerts to advisories, the agency continues to stress the importance of exercising caution near or around the coast.

Footage captured by a motorist in one of the affected areas shows a river slosh side to side as the earth around it quakes.

Another video shows a subway station tremble as commuters brace for the worst.

Drone footage documenting the aftermath in Wajima City, Japan, obtained by Reuters, shows smoldering ruins, flattened neighborhoods, beached boats, and toppled multi-story buildings.

While the Asian nation's infrastructure is largely built to withstand the earthquakes common around the seismically-active Pacific Ring of Fire, tens of thousands of homes were nevertheless destroyed by the quake, which also shut down water, cell phone service, and power in various areas.

Authorities in the devastated city of Wajima, seen in the drone footage, received reports of at least 30 collapsed buildings and noted firefighters had battled blazes well into the night.

As of Tuesday, officials confirmed at least 48 people were dead and 16 were seriously injured in Ishikawa, reported the Associated Press.

The Japanese government indicated Monday evening that it had ordered over 97,000 people in nine prefectures on the west coast to evacuate, reported Reuters.

According to the New York Times, Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Agency indicated that while a fire had broken out in a transformer at the Shika power plant in Shikawa, there were no signs of abnormalities at its radioactivity monitoring stations.

The Shika plant had shut down its two reactors prior to the quake for regular inspections.

Various governments around the world expressed their sympathies and support for the Japanese people.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel wrote, "We are saddened to see the damage caused by the earthquake that occurred this afternoon near Ishikawa, Japan. Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted across the region."

Emanuel further indicated that the U.S. government and American military in Japan have offered their full support and are ready to provide aid to the affected communities.

President Joe Biden said in a statement, "As close Allies, the United States and Japan share a deep bond of friendship that unites our people. Our thoughts are with the Japanese people during this difficult time."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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