The earthquake that struck Japan on the first day of the year has left at least six people dead in Ishikawa Prefecture.
The Meteorological Agency says it observed about 100 jolts in the region after the magnitude-7.6 quake.
Officials in Ishikawa's Wajima City say a fire broke out in the center of the city, damaging more than 50 stores and houses on a street that hosts a morning market.
Prime Minister Kishida orders SDF officials to the disaster-hit-areas by every means
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio told reporters shortly after 5 p.m. that he will spearhead disaster relief efforts.
Kishida said it will not be easy to send Self-Defense Forces to the disaster-hit areas because roads have been cut off. But he said victims who are trapped in buildings should be rescued as soon as possible as buildings are at risk of collapse.
He also said he had ordered officials to send necessities such as water, food, blankets, kerosene, gasoline and fuel oil by air or sea as it is the cold season now.
Weather officials say parts of Ishikawa Prefecture will have severe cold on Tuesday morning, expecting temperatures to be as low as minus 2 degrees Celsius in Wajima City.
Reports of injuries and damage continue to come in. Fire departments and hospitals have told NHK that, as of 11 p.m. on Monday, multiple people had been injured in the prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, Fukui, Toyama and Gifu. Reports say they were hit by falling objects or suffered broken bones.
Authorities receive many calls of people who failed to escape from collapsed houses
Fire department officials in Ishikawa Prefecture say they have received calls for help from residents trapped underneath collapsed buildings.
The fire department handles areas of cities of Wajima and Suzu, and the towns of Anamizu and Noto.
Officials are assessing the extent of the damage from the quake and carrying out rescue operations. But they say they are overloaded by the number of people calling for help.
A Wajima City fire station says it has had more than 50 calls from people about houses that have collapsed. Some callers said those trapped under buildings were unconscious. One caller said an office building collapsed.
Fire, injuries reported in Ishikawa Prefecture after quake
An official at a hospital in Suzu City in the prefecture says people injured in the earthquake have been transported there.
Some doctors have been unable to reach the hospital as roads have been damaged. The official also says the hospital is operating with a spare generator as power has been cut.
Medical staff at another hospital in Wajima City have been treating patients in a parking area in the facility.
Ishikawa Prefecture Police officials have been gathering information on the damage caused by the magnitude 7.6 quake that hit central Japan on Monday afternoon.
Authorities say reports of damage from the massive quake are still coming in.
Police in the city of Himi in Toyama Prefecture say they have received reports of cracks in roads at several locations.
An official at the municipality of Oyabe, also in Toyama Prefecture, have received several reports of broken water pipes.
In areas where tsunami warnings were issued, residents evacuated and moved to higher ground.
Residents take refuge
Officials in Nomi City in Ishikawa Prefecture say that as of 5:30 p.m., about 100 people had taken refuge in the city hall's main building.
In Yamagata Prefecture, about 2,000 people have been evacuated to facilities such as local city offices.
Hokuriku Electric Power Company says about 33,000 households are without power in Ishikawa Prefecture. The number includes about 10,300 in Wajima City, 7,300 in Noto Town, and 7,100 in Suzu City.
Imperial family's New Year Greeting to general public canceled
Japan's Imperial Household Agency has canceled visits by the general public to the Imperial Palace for the New Year Greeting by the Imperial family. The agency says this is the first time a greeting to the general public at the palace has been canceled due to a natural disaster.
Expert: Risk from strong tremors, tsunami continues
Hirata Naoshi, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and an expert on the mechanism of earthquakes, warns that strong tremors may continue and this poses a risk even for buildings that have not collapsed in previous earthquakes.
Hirata says seismic activity has been very active in the Noto region in Ishikawa Prefecture since around December 2020.
Hirata points out that there is a possibility that an extremely strong quake could occur, and that a powerful tsunami could follow.
Japan Meteorological Agency advises people to remain in safe areas
Shimoyama Toshihiro of the Japan Meteorological Agency held a news conference at 6:10 p.m. He said tsunami waves will hit repeatedly, so people should stay in safe areas.
He also said that in areas hit by strong tremors, there is an increasing risk of landslides and houses collapsing. He said that he wants people to stay on alert for future seismic activities as well as rainy conditions.
He said quakes with an intensity reaching the top of the scale of 7 are possible within about a week, and especially in the next two or three days.
Chief Cabinet Secretary: No abnormalities to nuclear plants reported
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi Yoshimasa said at a news conference shortly after 5 p.m. that no damage had been detected at nuclear power plants.
A major tsunami warning was issued for Ishikawa Prefecture
After a massive magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck Ishikawa Prefecture, a major tsunami warning was issued. An intensity of seven on the Japanese scale of 0 to seven was observed on the Noto Peninsula in the prefecture.
The city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, in central Japan, observed tsunami of more than 1.2 meters at 4:21 p.m. on Monday following a major quake that hit the region.
Tsunami warnings were also issued for Niigata, Toyama, Yamagata, Fukui and Hyogo prefectures, also along the Japan Sea coast.
The city of Toyama in Toyama Prefecture, neighboring Ishikawa, reported tsunami of 80 centimeters at 4:35 p.m.
The city of Kashiwazaki in Niigata observed tsunami of 40 centimeters at 4:36 p.m.