Japan lowers tsunami alarm; extensive damage from New Year’s day quake

A high-level tsunami warning that was issued following a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck off the coast of Noto in Ishikawa, Japan in the afternoon of January 1, has been lowered.

Local news media said this was the first time that Japan had issued such a high-level tsunami alert since the 2011 earthquake.

Buildings and roads in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture are impacted by the January 1 quake; photo by NHK

While authorities warned that tsunami waves could reach heights of 5m, waves that eventually crashed into the Ishikawa coastline along the Sea of Japan that day were no more than a metre high.

However, major damage to infrastructure, including house, power poles and expressways, has been reported. The latest NHK news update stated that injuries were reported across multiple prefectures including Niigata, Fukui, Toyama, and Gifu.

The national meteorological agency has warned of continued aftershocks in affected areas for the coming days.

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