Japan’s Massive Earthquake Leaves Behind Trail Of Death And Destruction – A Look at Major Quakes In 30 Years | World News


The New Year began on a tragic note in Japan with a massive earthquake hitting central Japan on Monday (January 1, 2024). A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.5 rattled Japan on the evening of New Year’s Day in central Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture. According to the public broadcaster NHK’s report, the death toll from the quake has risen to 15, while the Japan Times reported the death toll to have risen to 30. Buildings were destroyed and the catastrophe knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes. Situated on the “Ring of Fire” arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin, Japan accounts for about 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, and each year experiences up to 2,000 quakes that can be felt by people, reports Reuters. 

The quake also triggered a major tsunami warning in that prefecture. However, now, Japan’s Meteorological Agency has lifted all tsunami advisories along the Sea of Japan. A fire broke out in Wajima City shortly after the quake, reportedly destroying more than 100 stores and houses. The area damaged is a well-known traditional marketplace popular with tourists.

Major Earthquakes To Have Shaken Up Japan In Last 30 Years

Following are some major Japanese quakes in the last 30 years, as reported by Reuters:

– On January 16, 1995, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit central Japan, devastating the western port city of Kobe. The worst earthquake to hit the country in 50 years killed more than 6,400 and caused an estimated $100 billion in damage.

– On October 23, 2004, a 6.8 magnitude quake struck the Niigata region, about 250 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, killing 65 people and injuring 3,000.

– On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck northeast Japan, killing nearly 20,000 people and causing a meltdown in Fukushima, leading to the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chornobyl.

– On April 16, 2016, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Kumamoto on the southern island of Japan, killing more than 220 people.

– On June 18, 2018, a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Osaka, Japan’s second-biggest metropolis, killed four people, injured hundreds more and halted factory lines in an industrial area.

– On September 6, 2018, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake paralysed Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, killing at least seven people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

– On February 13, 2021, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Fukushima in eastern Japan, injuring dozens of people and triggering widespread power outages.

– On March 16, 2022, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the coast of Fukushima again, leaving two dead and 94 injured and reviving memories of the quake and tsunami that crippled the same region just over a decade earlier.

(With Agency inputs)


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