(Reuters/Kyodo News)

Over 30 Lives Lost As Rescuers Race Against Time Deadly Earthquake Strikes Japan

A devastating magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck Japan on New Year’s Day, claiming at least 30 lives and leaving rescuers in a race against time to find survivors. 

The earthquake, accompanied by tsunami waves along Japan’s west coast, caused widespread destruction, toppling buildings, wrecking roads, and cutting power to tens of thousands of homes.

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At least 30 people have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of the earthquake. 

Rescue teams, comprising thousands of army personnel, firefighters, and police officers, are struggling to reach isolated areas in the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture, one of the worst-hit regions.

While tsunami warnings have been downgraded, the initial waves reached approximately one meter along Japan’s west coast and neighboring South Korea. 

Authorities caution that larger waves could follow.

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The earthquake severely damaged roads and infrastructure, hindering rescue efforts. Noto airport has closed due to runway damage, leaving 500 people stranded inside cars in its parking lot. Rail services, ferries, and flights into the area have been suspended.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida highlighted the urgency of search and rescue operations during an emergency disaster meeting. 

Helicopter surveys have revealed widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure in the Noto peninsula.

Almost 33,000 households remain without power in Ishikawa prefecture, and most areas in the northern Noto peninsula have no water supply. 

The Japanese government has established a special emergency center to gather and relay information on the earthquake and tsunami, ensuring the safety of residents.

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