Earthquake, Tsunami Hit Japan New Year’s Day

A significant earthquake has hit the west coast of Japan. NHK reports the quake as a 7.6 earthquake (highest on Shindo scale) with an epicenter in Ishikawa Prefecture.

This put the quake right near the largest concentration of nuclear power plants in Japan. While most are offline due to the 2011 disaster and improved nuclear oversight regulations, some were operational. NHK reported that the Shika nuclear power plant lost a transformer for incoming AC power and an oil line for a back up generator. Japan’s NRA reported no radiation increases were detected around nuclear plants in the region hit.

Quake and tsunami map from BBC
2024 Japan earthquake tsunami BBC

The current maximum height for the tsunami has been 3 meters stretching from Niigata where the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant is located, to south of Fukui prefecture where a large concentration of nuclear power plants are located. NHK reported that the maximum tsunami height recorded could increase as waves are still incoming.

The entire west coast of Japan is under an evacuation order. There are extensive reports of collapsed buildings and people trapped and in need of rescue. Japan JMA is warning that additional significant earthquakes could occur in subsequent days.

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