DIRECT. Magnitude 7.5 earthquake hits central Japan, tsunami warning issued in several prefectures

A major 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck central Japan, the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS) announced on Monday January 1. Japanese authorities immediately issued a tsunami alert. A “major alert” was notably decreed in the department of Ishikawa, where the epicenter is located, according to the map published by the country’s meteorological agency (JMA). The tremors were felt as far away as Tokyo, according to the Radio France correspondent. At total, 21 earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 4 were recorded by the Japanese agency. Follow our live stream.

Possible waves of several meters. Dangerous tsunami waves up to five meters high are “possible” on the northern coast of central Japan, within a radius of 300 kilometers from the epicenter, US and Japanese agencies warned. Waves 1.2 meters high have already hit the port of Wajima on the Noto Peninsula, according to the JMA.

Residents urged to reach higher ground. The media widely relayed the alerts issued by the authorities. Run to the highest areas possibledeclared an NHK presenter. We understand that your homes and possessions are dear to you, but your lives are more important than anything else.”

Power outages reported. In total, some 33,500 homes were left without electricity after the earthquakes, according to suppliers.

No anomalies in nuclear power plants. “It has been confirmed that there are no anomalies at the Shika nuclear power plant [dans le département d’Ishikawa] and on other sites for the moment”, declared government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi. Highways were closed near the epicenter of the powerful earthquake, the transport authority said.

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