At least 6 dead after huge earthquake rocks Japan on New Year's Day

2024-01-02 08:54:14CGTN/Agencies Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

The powerful earthquake that hit central Japan on New Year's Day killed at least six people, as police and local authorities early on Tuesday reported cases of bodies being pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

The magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck Ishikawa Prefecture on Monday afternoon, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and prompting residents in some coastal areas to flee to higher ground.

As of Tuesday morning, Japan's Meteorological Agency has downgraded all tsunami warnings issued along the Sea of Japan to advisories. But the agency is calling on residents to stay on the alert for more possible quakes.

Army personnel were dispatched to help with rescue operations, while one local airport remained shut after the quake tore open cracks in the runway.

Aftershocks continued as fires were reported in the region and there were major railway disruptions in some parts of the country.

According to NHK, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said a blast and the smell of something burning were reported at the Shika nuclear power plant in Ishikawa Prefecture. The operator said the plant lost power from a transformer, but the two nuclear reactors can function properly using backup systems.

Neighboring country South Korea reported small tsunamis on Monday following the major earthquake, and there have been no reports of injuries or property losses, Yonhap reported.

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