Japan issues tsunami warning after strong earthquakes in the Sea of Japan


TOKYO — Japan issued a Tsunami warning after a series of strong earthquakes struck the Sea of Japan on New Year’s Day.

Quakes occurred off the coast of Ishika and nearby prefectures after 4 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) with one reaching a magnitude of 7.6, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency issued tsunami warnings to the coastal prefectures of Niigata, Toyama and Ishikawa where 32,000 buildings had lost power as of 6 p.m. (4 a.m, ET) , according to electricity company Hokuriku Electric Power.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV warned the waves could reach as high as 5 meters (16.5 feet) and urged people on the entire west coast to escape to the highest place as soon as possible. Tremors were felt in the capital, Tokyo.

The tallest wave so far was 1.2 meters (around 4 feet) detected at Wajima Port in Ishikawa at 5:21 p.m (3:21 a.m. ET), according to Japan’s Nippon TV, but had not yet breached the port’s defenses.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said to the reporters at his office shortly after the warnings that the government will provide information to the public as soon as possible.

He added that they will ascertain the extent of damages and injuries swiftly, and work closely with the local governments to ensure public safety.

This is a developing story — check back here for updates soon.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo; Larissa Gao reported from Hong Kong.

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