7.5 magnitude earthquake in Japan leaves at least four dead

The country's prime minister assured that authorities have activated a protocol to address the emergency. A tsunami alert has been issued.

The U.S. Geological Survey and the Japan Meteorological Agency reported that an earthquake was recorded in Japan on January 1st. According to the authorities, the magnitude of the quake was 7.5 and left four people dead and as many trapped in the rubble.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning on its official website in the coastal regions of western Japan.

The earthquake shook the western part of the country. It was reported to have a depth of 6 miles and occurred about 26 miles northeast of Anamizu in Ishikawa Prefecture. The company Hokuriku Electric Power explained that the electricity service is experiencing failures in several areas in Ishikawa.

Among the images that circulated on social media, total chaos was observed in the streets, like red smoke coming from a large fire in a residential neighborhood. At the same time, one of the images showed a woman and her baby, both meters away from the enormous cracks that opened in the pavement.

According to NHK, several people were injured while trying to escape from the destruction caused by the natural disaster.

"An earthquake occurred in the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture shortly after 4 p.m. on Jan. 1. There is currently a power outage. The impact on electrical equipment is currently being confirmed," the electrical company explained.

The earthquake caused damage to roads and buildings. It was also reported that citizens were trapped in some collapsed buildings.

"It is necessary to rescue victims from collapsed buildings as soon as possible, and I have instructed to use all possible means to reach the site as soon as possible. As it is winter, we ordered essential supplies such as water, food, blankets, kerosene, gasoline and diesel fuel to be sent by air and sea," said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on X (formerly Twitter).

Kishida also assured that authorities have activated a protocol to address the emergency. He asked citizens to comply with the government's recommendations.

"Based on our policy of putting human lives first, we are making every effort to assess the damage situation and implement emergency disaster response measures. Everyone in the area, please pay close attention to the latest information and make life-saving actions your top priority," he wrote.

According to CNN, Japan is one of the countries most prone to earthquakes precisely because it is located in an area of high seismic activity.

In fact, according to the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), the Asian country is located in an area known as the "Ring of Fire," located on the Pacific Ocean coasts and characterized by "concentrating some of the most important subduction zones in the world, which causes intense seismic and volcanic activity in the territory it covers."

What is a subduction zone? According to the Mexican Geological Service (SGM), it is a place where two tectonic plates collide by moving in opposite directions. "Of these two plates, the denser one passes under the less dense one (i.e., it subducts); this movement produces collisions between both plates and releases energy that translates, among other things, into earthquakes," they explained.