A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck western Japan on Monday afternoon, collapsing buildings, causing fires, and triggering tsunami alerts as far away as eastern Russia. The earthquake hit at 4:10 p.m. local time in the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa prefecture, leading to immediate evacuation orders for coastal areas.
In the aftermath, thousands of people are spending the night in evacuation centers, and at least two deaths are feared, with the toll expected to rise. Dozens of buildings have collapsed in several towns, trapping people beneath the rubble. The full extent of the damage is yet to be clear, but major damage to infrastructure is evident.
The tsunami warning system was activated for the first time since 2011, but the actual waves that hit the Sea of Japan coastline were not as severe as initially anticipated. The major warning was downgraded to a warning and then an advisory. Local reports suggest that several houses and power poles collapsed, and highways near the epicenter were closed.
Japan, one of the most seismically active nations, has dispatched military personnel for rescue efforts. There are concerns about the impact on nuclear power plants in the affected areas, but authorities assure that there is no risk of radioactivity leaking.
In the midst of these events, Afrobeats star Rema and American singer Justine Skye were spotted together at a church crossover service in Lagos, sparking rumors about their relationship. The earthquake in Japan and its aftermath are reminiscent of the 2011 disaster, which led to a devastating tsunami and a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant.
The situation is still evolving, with aftershocks and ongoing assessments of damage. The earthquake’s impact on the affected regions and the broader geopolitical implications will continue to unfold in the coming days.