The tranquility of the New Year was shattered for Japan as a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Ishikawa prefecture on Honshu, leaving a trail of destruction, claiming at least 48 lives, and causing widespread devastation.
The seismic tremor, accompanied by over 155 aftershocks, prompted a tsunami, unleashing waves exceeding one meter in height. The catastrophe ravaged Ishikawa, toppling buildings, igniting fires, and rendering roads impassable, transforming the Noto Peninsula’s landscape into scenes of chaos and despair.
Residents grappled with the aftermath, recounting the harrowing moments of the violent quake. “It was such a powerful jolt,” expressed Tsugumasa Mihara, a resident, while queuing for essential supplies in the town of Shika.
The impact was profound, with the destruction extending to houses flattened, boats submerged, and highways marred by landslides. The horrific scene included a massive fire that engulfed the market area of Wajima, crippling rescue efforts and compounding the disaster’s toll.
Rescue operations faced challenges amid crumbling infrastructure and fires, exacerbating the plight of the affected. Firefighters tirelessly navigated collapsed buildings in a desperate search for survivors, exemplifying unwavering courage amid adversity.
As the nation grappled with the aftermath, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida acknowledged the extensive damage, urging a swift response to search, rescue, and aid efforts. The toll was expected to rise as rescue teams combed through the debris.
The calamity disrupted essential services, leaving tens of thousands without power and water, with freezing temperatures compounding the ordeal. Transportation systems, including bullet trains and local services, came to a halt, stranding hundreds of passengers.
The catastrophe invoked haunting memories of Japan’s history, plagued by seismic unrest and the cataclysmic 2011 earthquake, triggering a tsunami and nuclear disaster. However, authorities confirmed no abnormalities in nuclear plants post the recent quake.
The international community extended condolences, with China, the United States, and other nations expressing solidarity with Japan in the wake of this tragedy.
As Japan navigates this calamity, the spirit of resilience and solidarity shines through, evident in the relentless efforts of rescue teams and the global outpouring of support for the affected communities.
Sources By Agencies