A powerful earthquake struck western Japan on Monday, triggering tsunami warnings and evacuation orders in several prefectures, trapping people under collapsed buildings and leaving tens of thousands without power in Ishikawa Prefecture, the epicenter of the quake, officials and public radio said.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula at around 4:10 p.m. and measured 7.6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude of the earthquake reached 7.5.
It was much weaker than… An 8.9 magnitude earthquake Which struck Japan in 2011, causing a tsunami that killed thousands and caused a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant.
Japanese authorities are still collecting information about the infections. NHK reported that the patients arrived at a hospital in the city of Suzu, which was operating on electrical power due to a power outage, and another hospital in the city of Wajima, where the wounded were being treated in the hospital parking lot.
Police were responding to calls from residents who reported collapsed buildings and people trapped underneath. Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said there were at least six cases of people trapped under rubble in Ishikawa, but he was unable to say how many people were involved or give details of their injuries.
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The Japan Meteorological Agency said Monday's quake was at a very shallow depth, making quakes more dangerous, but initial reports from authorities in Ishikawa Prefecture indicate there was no major damage to “important facilities.”
The meteorological agency initially issued a major tsunami warning for parts of the west coast, saying waves could reach a height of five meters, or 16 feet, on the Noto Peninsula facing the Sea of Japan, and ordered residents to leave for higher ground immediately. The Japanese government lowered the warning level several hours later, and said the highest expected wave height was three metres, or about 10 feet, but urged residents to stay away.
An official from Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Agency said there were no signs of malfunction at any of the radioactivity monitoring stations at the Shika Nuclear Power Plant in Ishikawa, on Japan's west coast. Mr. Hayashi said a fire broke out in a transformer at the station, but was extinguished.
The meteorological agency warned that aftershocks and tsunami waves could continue for up to a week, and advised residents to be cautious for at least two or three days.
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