Japan has issued tsunami alerts for the western coastline following a powerful earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale.

Japan Meteorological Agency has issued warnings for Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama prefectures.
Latest updates on Japan quake:
A strong earthquake hit the western coastline of central Japan, causing tsunami alerts and warnings for residents to evacuate. The quake also resulted in power outages for thousands of homes.
The initial magnitude reading of the quake was 7.6, and it generated waves of approximately 1 meter (3.3ft) along parts of the Sea of Japan coast. The waves could reach as high as 5 meters, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
The Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, stated that residents need to remain alert for further possible quakes and urged those in tsunami-affected areas to evacuate promptly. Buildings in Tokyo, located 190 miles (300km) away from the epicenter, were also shaken.
The Noto region on the west coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island, experienced a rapid succession of earthquakes, starting with a 5.7-magnitude tremor at 4:06pm local time. This was followed by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake at 4:10pm, a 6.1-magnitude quake at 4:18pm, a 4.5-magnitude quake at 4:23pm, a 4.6-magnitude quake at 4:29pm, and a 4.8-magnitude quake at 4:32pm. The US Geological Survey reported that a 6.2-magnitude quake occurred soon after.
NHK issued warnings urging people to evacuate quickly to higher ground and remain cautious of aftershocks and additional tsunami. The government spokesperson, Hayashi Yoshimasa, advised residents to be prepared for possible further quakes.
Broadcast footage by NHK showed buildings collapsing in Ishikawa. Over 36,000 households lost power in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, according to Hokuriku Electric Power.
Japan has strict construction regulations and conducts emergency drills regularly to ensure buildings can withstand strong earthquakes. Tsunami caused by earthquakes off the Sea of Japan coast can reach the shore in less than 10 minutes, faster than those on the Pacific coast. The 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake triggered a tsunami that took approximately 30 minutes to hit the coastline.
The Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority reported no irregularities at nuclear power plants along the Sea of Japan, including the Ohi and Takahama plants in Fukui prefecture operated by Ki Electric Power, which have five active reactors. The Shika plant in Ishikawa, which is closest to the quake’s location, had already shut down its two reactors for a regular inspection before the quake and was unaffected by it, according to the agency.
Japan is prone to earthquakes. A massive earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 killed 18,000 people in the country’s northeast region. The disaster devastated towns and led to nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Since then, nearly all of Japan’s nuclear power plants have been put out of operation.
Source: Reuters and Agence France-Presse

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