The earthquake that struck Japan between 1 and 2 January 2024 caused the deaths of at least 64 people, without considering the damage caused to homes and infrastructure. Damaged roads, fallen trees, collapsed houses and landslides.
The consequences throughout the Noto peninsula, in the Ishikawa prefecture which overlooks the Sea of Japan, were witnessed in images and videos. The death toll could rise further, unfortunately. At least thirty deaths have occurred in the city of Wajima, the Ishikawa prefectural government said.
The city is in fact one of the most devastated by the earthquake, with over 200 buildings and other structures burned down
Tens of thousands of buildings across Ishikawa Prefecture were destroyed, but the damage was not fully and economically estimated.
The authorities have invited the population to stay away from homes located in the areas due to the risk of further earthquakes. People evacuated from their homes gathered in auditoriums, schools and community centers. According to Japanese media reports, tens of thousands of homes were destroyed.
Meanwhile, another strong earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.5, struck the central-western coast of Japan on Wednesday morning local time. No tsunami warning was issued. The new earthquake was recorded in the Noto region, in Ishikawa prefecture, at a depth of 10 km.
Death and destruction in Japan
Water, electricity and telephone service in some areas are still interrupted. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the army had sent 1,000 soldiers to the disaster-hit areas: "Saving lives is our priority and we are fighting a battle against time.
It is vital that people trapped in homes are rescued immediately."
The Japanese Prime Minister's chief of staff, Yoshimasa Hayashi, said that the Japanese people are asked by the government to be on alert because there could be earthquakes for about a week with an intensity scale of up to seven.
In areas where the shaking was strong, people are asked to look for evacuation information through local offices, on TV, radio and the Internet and to act accordingly.