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Tsunami Waves Hit Japan After Powerful Earthquake, Terrifying

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Tokyo, January 1: Tsunami waves reportedly hit coastal areas of central Japan after a powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.5 shook the country on Monday, January 1. Several videos surfaced on social media showing tsunami waves hitting Niigata and Ishikawa prefectures of Japan. At least 21 earthquakes above 4.0 magnitude struck Japan after which the country issued tsunami warning.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, waves as high as 1.2 meters (four feet) slammed Wajima port in Ishikawa prefecture at 4:21 pm, local time. Waves of 80 cm reached Toyama Prefecture around 4:35 pm and waves of 40 meters also reached Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, at 4:36 pm, local time. It also reached Niigata’s Sado Island at 4:10 pm, local time.

Tsunami waves hit parts of Japan

One of the videos showed waves breaking over the seawall in Ishikawa prefecture. Another video showed a powerful wave hitting a car in Niigata prefecture.

Power outages hit Japan

The powerful earthquake disrupted power supply in parts of Japan. According to reports, hundreds of residents were left without electricity. As part of preventive measures, the authorities asked people to evacuate from coastal areas of Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama and Yamagata prefectures and move to safer locations. Traffic authorities closed major highways near epicentre of the Japan earthquake.

Tsunami warnings were also issued for Niigata, Toyama, Yamagata, Fukui and Hyogo prefectures, also along the Japan Sea Coast. Meanwhile, Russia also declared tsunami threat for parts of Sakhalin’s western coast and urges residents to evacuate to higher ground after the Japan earthquake.

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Powerful 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Central Japan On New Year’s Day, Tsunami Warning Issued

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Japan began the New Year on a scary note as a massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Ishikawa and nearby prefectures on Monday. A Tsunami warning has been declared for Ishikawa, accompanied by lower-level advisories for the northwestern coast of Honshu.

Following the seismic event in the Noto region of Ishikawa prefecture at approximately 4:10 pm local time (07:10 GMT), public broadcaster NHK urgently broadcasted, “All residents must promptly move to higher ground.”

The earthquake and subsequent warnings have stirred concerns and prompted immediate responses to ensure the safety of residents in the affected areas.

Massive waves of up to 5 metres high are believed to be reaching Noto in Ishikawa Prefecture, according to the weather agency.

Waves more than 1 metre high hit the coast of Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture.

No casualties have been reported so far by local authorities.

Why is Japan prone to earthquakes?

Japan is renowned as an earthquake-prone country due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area with intense seismic and volcanic activity.

Positioned on four major tectonic plates—the Pacific, Philippine Sea, Eurasian, and North American plates—Japan experiences frequent seismic events. The subduction zones where these plates converge lead to powerful earthquakes, which sometimes trigger tsunamis as well.

Preparedness against earthquakes

In response, Japan has implemented rigorous building codes, early warning systems, and disaster preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of earthquakes.

Despite these efforts, the country remains vigilant, recognising the ongoing threat and potential for significant seismic activity, emphasising the importance of continuous research and advancements in earthquake resilience.

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Cyclone Michaung Claims 17 Lives In Chennai, Transport Severely Affected

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Chennai, Tamil Nadu: The flooding in Chennai following heavy rains triggered by Cyclone Michaung have claimed 17 lives so far, officials said on Tuesday. The Greater Chennai police, through a release issued on December 5, Tuesday, stated that 17 people have been reported dead in various incidents due to floods in the city. According to the police, as many as 10 incidents of drowning and electrocution have been reported for which medical assistance was rendered.

As Cyclone Michaung made landfall on Tuesday, an incessant downpour lashed Chennai even as its fury from Monday ebbed significantly. The rains and the subsequent flooding from the storm literally brought the state capital to a standstill, disrupting normal life and also resulting in fatalities and damage to property.

Transport Majorly hit

The city police shared an update on the prevailing situation, informing that about 16 subways have been closed due to waterlogging. Further, according to officials, trees that lay uprooted on roads were removed at 69 places in the GCP police station area. Flood warning announcements through the public address system were also being made by GCP in coordination with Greater Chennai Corporation for those living in the low-lying areas along the Adyar River bank, an official release stated.
Tamil Nadu Govt on Preparedness

Earlier, on Tuesday, DMK MP Kanimozhi said the Tamil Nadu government is much more prepared to deal with the situation than in 2015, when incessant rains caused flooding in Chennai, causing loss of lives and property damage.

“In the last two days, we had more than 33 cm of rainfall, which is much more than what we had in 2015. However, the government was better equipped to deal with the situation this time. Many people have been evacuated (from low-lying areas) and moved to (relief) shelters,” Kanimozhi said.

Rescue operations underway

“As many as 411 relief shelters have already been arranged. Water has also been pumped out of most of the areas and power has been restored to more than 60-70 per cent of the houses,” the DMK MP added. Meanwhile, with #ChennaiRain trending on various social media platforms, people, especially netizens, joined hands to help fellow civilians in flood-affected areas.

The state officials were also trying their best to respond to distress messages on social media and extend timely and necessary assistance, sources said.

Work underway to flush rainwater out of the city
In an attempt to flush rainwater out of the city, another corporation of Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, dispatched twelve 41-HP motors to Chennai for flood relief operations.

The corporation procured the motors from city-based manufacturers. These motors can flush out 4 lakh litres of water per hour. Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner Siva Guru Prabakarn has also left for Chennai to oversee and join the flood relief operation. The officials said the corporation was also taking steps to send more such motors to Chennai for flood relief operations.

IMD: Cyclone likely to weaken

Meanwhile, holding out hope of some respite, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that the cyclone is likely to weaken as it lay centred over south-coastal Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday evening. “Severe Cyclonic Storm MICHAUNG weakened into a Cyclonic Storm at 1530hrs IST, lay centered at 1730hrs IST of December 5, over south-coastal Andhra Pradesh, about 25km west-northwest of Bapatla and 60 km north-northeast of Ongole. Likely to move nearly northwards & weaken further,” the IMD said in a post on X.

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Cyclone Michaung: Heavy Rain Lashes Chennai, Parts Of Andhra Pradesh; Know Sea Situation, Storm Route & More

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he deep depression over the Bay of Bengal was elevated to severe cyclonic storm Michaung at around 8:30 am on Monday morning, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The weather agency further predicted that the cyclonic storm would make landfall near Andhra Pradesh’s Bapatla at about noon on December 5. Winds are expected to reach severe cyclonic levels, with maximum sustained speeds of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph. 

Cyclone Michaung: know regions to be affected and the storm’s route

Cyclone Michaung is the fourth tropical cyclone of the year in the Bay of Bengal. Due to the system, most of Tamil Nadu, southern Andhra Pradesh, and southern Odisha will witness severe rainfall. 

Cyclone Michaung is anticipated to bring heavy rains to southern Odisha and the state’s coastal region. Between December 4-6, light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy showers is predicted over south coastal and adjoining south interior Odisha, with very heavy rainfall in the same areas on December 5.

Cyclone Michaung’s expected sea situation

The sea situation is likely to be rough to very rough, with squally wind speeds reaching 35-45 kmph gusting to 55 kmph along and off the Odisha coast on December 4 evening, increasing to 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph for the next 12 hours on December 5 evening.

Cyclone Michaung caused damage

Chennai and its neighbouring districts’ routine lives were thrown out of gear due to continuous rain that hammered several parts of the city, causing floods. Also, heavy rains lashed parts of Andhra Pradesh and are predicted to last several days. Following the climatic conditions on Monday, the Andhra Pradesh government announced all schools to remain closed. The government of Tamil Nadu also declared a public holiday in four districts, including Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, and Kancheepuram.Many portions of the state capital and the neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, and Tiruvallur were flooded despite the government’s efforts to clear the stagnant water and inundation. In its latest bulletin, the meteorological office said rains would likely continue in these districts until late Monday. 

Preventative measures 

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has made 18 teams accessible to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Puducherry, with ten more teams on standby. According to a statement from the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), rescue and relief teams from the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, ships, and planes have been kept on standby. 

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