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7.6 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan; 30 Dead, Scores Trapped

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Japan faced a powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake on New Year’s Day, leaving at least 30 people dead and numerous others feared trapped under debris. The quake, striking Ishikawa as the worst affected region, unleashed chaos with over 150 subsequent tremors within 24 hours, compounding the destruction.

Local videos portrayed the grim aftermath: collapsed houses, cracked roads, and frantic residents seeking shelter as buildings and trains shook. A resident from Ishikawa shared a video, showcasing sidewalks torn apart, cars submerged in cracks, and collapsed houses, underscoring the extent of the disaster.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, confirmed “very extensive damage” and lamented “numerous casualties.” Wajima experienced waves over 1.2 meters high on Monday, with smaller tsunamis reported elsewhere. Though tsunami warnings were lifted on Tuesday, rescuers tirelessly work to find survivors amid the rubble.

Kishida said, “We have to race against time to search for and rescue victims of the disaster.” A staggering 62,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes as a precautionary measure.

Japan’s haunting memories of the 2011 disaster resurface, where a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami, claiming over 18,500 lives. The aftermath witnessed the Fukushima nuclear plant’s three reactors melting down, marking Japan’s worst post-war disaster and the most severe nuclear incident since Chernobyl.

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