TOKYO (Agencies) – A formidable 7.6 magnitude earthquake rocked central Japan on Monday, prompting urgent evacuation advisories in select west coast areas. The seismic event resulted in structural damage, power outages for thousands of homes, and widespread disruptions to travel in the region.

The quake, with its epicenter northeast of Anamizu in Ishikawa prefecture, unleashed waves of approximately 1 meter along portions of the Sea of Japan coast. Authorities cautioned that more significant waves could follow. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) swiftly issued tsunami warnings for the coastal prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, and Toyama. While a major tsunami warning was initially declared for Ishikawa, it was later downgraded.

A collapsed gate to the residential house caused by an earthquake is seen in Oita, southern Japan January 22, 2022, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

In response to the quake, Russia also issued tsunami warnings for its far eastern cities of Vladivostok and Nakhodka.

Reports indicate the destruction of several houses, prompting the dispatch of army units for search and rescue operations. Top government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi stated that authorities are actively assessing the extent of the damage. Additionally, the JMA official, Toshihiro Shimoyama, warned of the potential for more strong quakes in the area over the coming days, as seismic activity has been simmering for more than three years.

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