7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes western Japan on New Year’s Day

7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes western Japan on New Year’s Day7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes western Japan on New Year’s Day
via @mineto1214, @seiko7
A series of powerful earthquakes struck Japan, resulting in at least 48 deaths and thousands displaced. 
About the earthquake: On New Year’s Day, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of Japan, triggering tsunami warnings, evacuations and power outages. The quake caused extensive damage to buildings, vehicles, roads and boats, with some fatalities occurring due to collapsed buildings.
As of Tuesday, at least 48 people were killed, including 19 in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, according to the authorities, who are continuing to search through the rubbles as tsunami warnings were lifted. 
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Rescue efforts: Thousands of military, firefighters and police personnel have been deployed to the severely affected Noto peninsula in Ishikawa. However, rescue efforts face challenges due to extensively damaged and blocked roads, hindering authorities from fully assessing the fallout. Rail services, ferries and flights in the region have been suspended, with Noto airport closed and 500 people reportedly stranded in its parking lot. 
Plane crash: Amid the destruction, people were also killed after a Japan Airlines plane carrying 379 passengers collided with an earthquake relief aircraft at the Tokyo Haneda airport on Tuesday evening. Although all passengers and crew survived, five of the six crew of the coast guard plane were killed.  
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Updates: The Japanese government has evacuated over 97,000 people in nine prefectures along the western coast of Honshu, directing them to seek shelter in sports halls and school gymnasiums. On Tuesday morning, around 33,000 homes in Ishikawa and neighboring Niigata Prefecture were still without power, and nearly 20,000 homes across four prefectures lacked running water. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida mentioned ongoing efforts to clear blocked roads and provide essentials to evacuees.
“The search and rescue of those impacted by the quake is a battle against time,” he said at an emergency disaster meeting on Tuesday.
Warnings: Aftershocks persist in Ishikawa prefecture and nearby areas. The United States Geological Survey reported more than 35 aftershocks with a magnitude greater than 2.5 near the epicenter in the past 24 hours. Among them, one surpassed 6.0 in magnitude, 12 were 5.0 or higher and 22 were above 4.0. Seismologists from USGS cautioned that these aftershocks could extend for months. The Japan Meteorological Agency also advised caution, indicating a 10 to 20 percent chance of a similar quake in the next week.
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