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2024-01-01 14:30:37

Japan issues tsunami warning after strong earthquake - BBC News

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officials in Japan have issued a major tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck areas to the north coast of the main island of Honshu .

The tremor , which according to the US Geological Survey , had a magnitude of 7.5 struck at just after 4 p.m. local time .

It happened in the Ishikawa area , close to the town of Anna Mizu .

While this camera caught the moment the earthquake happened , officials have urged people living in coastal areas to move to higher ground and we're getting reports that some major highways have been closed .

But the agency , which administers Japan's nuclear power plants , say they have not been affected .

Around 33,500 households are without power .

Russia has also issued warnings for its far eastern Sakal island and is carrying out evacuations there .

Our correspondent in the region , Jean McKenzie , is monitoring developments from Seoul in South Korea , so bring us the very latest on this .

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So the major tsunami warning has been issued for the Noto region in this Isawa prefecture , so this is in central Japan on the west coast .

They are warning that waves of up to five metres high could hit that coast .

At the moment there has been waves of up to two metres , but officials are saying that those waves could get bigger .

We could see more of them .

There have also been tsunami warnings for the surrounding prefectures , so they are the prefectures of GTA and Toyama and so people living in these coastal areas have been told to evacuate immediately .

They have been told to go inland to higher ground or to go to the shelters .

People are being warned not to go to the coast , not to try and look at the damage or see what's happening that of course the first waves that hit are often not the biggest .

People are also being warned that there may be a following earthquake , a second earthquake .

There are still tremors taking place in that region in that wa prefecture .

And of course , some of the concern is partly linked to people's memories of 2011 and the Fukushima disaster .

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And I understand that the chief Cabinet secretary has said that so far there are no irregularities at any nuclear power plants following the earthquake .

But presumably , as you say , that's still a concern with potential further quakes .

Yes , absolutely so there are actually five nuclear power plants in this area that has received the major tsunami warning and just the tsunami warnings .

At the moment , they are not reporting any damages or any rise in radiation levels surrounding those plants .

But of course this could change .

And so they are being monitored .

And , as you rightly say , I think many people will be thinking about that disaster .

Back in 2011 , 1 of biggest nuclear power plant disasters we have ever seen in this huge tsunami that hit Japan .

It was the biggest tsunami , earthquake and tsunami Japan had ever recorded to put it into context .

The magnitude of the earthquake today is 7.5 .

That one back in 2011 that caused that Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster was magnitude nine .

So it is a smaller earthquake that hit today , and officials are monitoring those power plants closely .

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And how prepared are people ?

I mean , all those sort of is other systems kind of different from what they were then .

Japan is a country that was obviously used to a lot of earthquakes , and it has got a good warning system in place .

A good system of shelters and people are being told to seek those shelters and to go and find them now .

And so people in this area will be prepared and to know what to do .

Now , of course , it's getting dark now in Japan .

It's just gone six o'clock in the evening .

So another thing that the authorities are saying to people is , Don't try and go back to your homes when it's getting dark , stick together and get to those higher ground areas or to those shelters .

We've seen some videos on social media of some initial damage , so these are the kind of small houses that have collapsed .

We haven't seen much more at this stage , and we haven't had any reports yet of casualties or of deaths .

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