Japan earthquake: Death toll touches 20

The death toll due to the powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake which hit Japan on Monday (January 1, 2023) has touched 20 as authorities are trying to reach the regions hit by tremor.

The death toll due to Japan earthquake touches 20. Photo Courtesy: X page video grab

The earthquake led to landslides and the collapse of multiple buildings.

It also triggered a tsunami warning for the length of the nation’s west coast.

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake, which at its center was rated the highest-level 7 on Japan’s shindo intensity scale, struck Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula on Monday afternoon, as the nation was marking New Year’s Day, reported The Japan Times.

The Meteorological Agency said on Tuesday that while waves are not likely to grow larger, sea level changes are still being observed, encouraging people in areas that had been under tsunami warnings to refrain from marine-based work, the newspaper reported.

According to reports, some of the deaths are reported to have been caused after people were trapped under collapsed structures.

Major structural damages were reported in Niigata, Toyama, Fukui and Gifu prefectures which led to multiple injuries.

Some 45,700 households are without power in Japan’s central Ishikawa prefecture after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck on Monday, according to the Hokuriku Electric Power company as quoted by CNN.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Defence Ministry has dispatched 1,000 military personnel to help the rescue and recovery efforts in the earthquake-hit regions of the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida earlier said in a statement: “Act in close coordination with local governments and, under the principle of prioritizing human life above all else, spare no effort in our emergency disaster responses, including saving lives and rescuing disaster victims, with the Government working as one.”

2011 Japan earthquake

A major earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people in 2011.

The incident left towns devastated and triggered nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima.