WAJIMA, Japan – Several powerful earthquakes struck western Japan, resulting in at least eight fatalities and causing extensive damage to buildings, vehicles, and boats. Officials are cautioning residents in some areas to avoid returning to their homes due to the risk of additional strong quakes. The aftershocks have continued to rattle the Ishikawa prefecture along with nearby areas in the wake of a magnitude 7.6 temblor that struck the region on Monday afternoon.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the priority of saving lives and stressed the urgency of rescuing individuals trapped in their homes. The military has deployed 1,000 soldiers to join the rescue efforts in the disaster zones, reflecting the scale of the damage.
The earthquakes have left a trail of destruction, with collapsed houses, overturned vehicles, and half-sunken ships in the bays. The Japan Meteorological Agency initially issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa, which was later downgraded, but more major quakes are expected in the area in the coming days.
Waves measuring more than one meter hit some places, while sections of highways were closed, water pipes burst, and cellphone service was disrupted in certain areas. U.S. President Joe Biden assured that his administration stands ready to provide necessary assistance to the Japanese people.
Japan, located along the “Ring of Fire,” is frequently prone to earthquakes due to the presence of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. As the rescue efforts continue and the extent of the damage becomes clearer, the focus remains on ensuring the safety and well-being of the affected individuals.