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M7.4 quake strikes central Japan; tsunami reach Japan Sea Coast

By Tim Kelly and Satoshi Sugiyama

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Quite strong here in Tokyo, although not even close to the one in March 2011. Hope evacuation from the coastal areas goes smoothly.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Even felt is quite strangely in our apartment, turned on TV and saw. What an awful thing on first day of the year.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

That is very powerful with a tsunami warning of 5m. What a day for it to happen. We were just 1 in south Hyogo. They want to restart the Niigata nuclear power plant.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

I’m over in Tokyo, and it wasn’t huge, but long swaying. What made it worse was already knowing there had been a big earthquake in Ishikawa. Really hope everyone is safe from that.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

There will be strong aftershocks.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

It's was a long roller out here in Western Tokyo. Please take measures to be safe Sea of Japan peeps.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )


Aftershocks happening already. Hope the Nuclear power stations are unaffected. On that coast there are many, even Fukui has a tsunami warning and there’s a few there I believe

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Not a good start to the year. I hope everyone gets to safety before the tsunami hits.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

We were watching NHK when the initial announcement was made, felt a couple bumps, then an announcer started raising her voice, which I'd never heard before from a Japanese TV announcer. It sounds like it was a rough one for folks where the quake was focused, I hope people have been able to heed the announcers and have been able to get to places of safety. The messages I've got on my phone in English have kept me aware of what's going on. Here's hoping that if there are aftershocks people will be prepared and safe. Thank you to all emergency service personnel for all you do.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Bullet train services suspended in central, eastern Japan. No news on the Fukui nuclear power plants.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

I hope for no injuries. That's what I hope for in 2024

2 ( +9 / -7 )

They want to restart the Niigata nuclear power plant.


0 ( +10 / -10 )

One frequent JT poster lives in Ishikawa. Stay safe.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Did not feel anything here in central Tokyo...staying tuned.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Hope there are no injuries. I will be visiting Japan several times this year what is the best app to get warnings in English please

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The northeastern tip of the Noto Peninsula has been subject to an earthquake swarm for over two years; Last May there was a 6.3 quake.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

So far, no injuries reported.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Turn your TV on if you want info.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

@Designer 02 One option is the NHK World app. There may be better options.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Be safe everyone and pray for all the victims.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I do the Yahoo app. It seems reliable and accurate.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I have a couple of smart devices and one started going off a half-minute before things started shaking in our part of Osaka. Checked it out and it had been set to "all-Japan" for alerts on disasters.

In any case, take care people. My only criticism of the way this was being handled in the alerts telling people of Ishikawa, etc., to run was when they added, "This is the worst since 2011!" As a recap in the news later, I think it's perfectly valid, but as a message urging people to flee the coast I feel it is very unnecessary and even dangerous at the time.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

If they say ‘go’… then go. Better safe than sorry and best to all.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Several houses in Ishikawa are on fire.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Are these happening more frequently?

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

@Designer 02 - I would recommend NERV app, I find it very clear. You may need to log in to Japan App Store if you’re on iPhone but you can download and use for free.

@smithinjapan - tsunami warnings of 3m later adjusted to 5m on the peninsula, so evacuation alerts seem justified. But good that you know better…

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Seems as though all the Sea of Japan side airports have suspended flights in and out.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Marc Penn: "@smithinjapan - tsunami warnings of 3m later adjusted to 5m on the peninsula, so evacuation alerts seem justified. But good that you know better…"

Once again, there is no need for you people to get so defensive. I did not say they should not warn people AT ALL. I said they don't need to add "This is the worst since thousands died!" while telling you to flee. Is that so tough for you to comprehend? The message on my phone alert said, "Earthquake. Stay calm, seek shelter." There's a good reason it didn't say, "Earthquake! The worst to hit since thousands died! The worst since the massive tsunamis of 3/11! Now please stay calm and seek shelter."

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Not an auspicious way to start the year.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Who the hell is doing all the downvoting?!?!

I’m in Kirishima, way way south of there, but shocked just the same. Stay safe people.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

The earth was quaking and YOU shook me.

Happy New Year. Let's do it. Shake off the demons or monkeys on your back. Workout and make money. More earthquakes to come. PACIFIC RIM

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

It hit Kobe, where we were having an extended family New Year lunch, at around 4:10pm. I never felt an earthquake like that. It felt like being in a boat, very slowly rocking and swaying. A few of us were actually feeling "seasick", for lack of a better word. I think it's because we were in a private room in the restaurant with no windows. So, the rolling/swaying motion was confusing our brains, feeling movement, but not being able to see anything actually moving.

Our home in Osaka prefecture seems to be okay. Nothing fallen or broken. I don't know if it was the same here as it was in Kobe. But, I imagine so, as it was only a half-hour drive. Our dogs were probably flipping out. Our various animals over the years have always been sensitive to earthquakes, in California and here. (Thankfully, no quakes in NYC. Just the annual blizzards and occasional hurricanes. )

1 ( +6 / -5 )


Felt like you said at our gaff in Osaka, went on for 30 to 40 seconds I’d guess.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Not an auspicious way to start the year.

Indeed. Kanto had a minor bump a number of years back on New Years morning. If I recall correctly. Not as serious as this but a shock nonetheless.

So far no injuries reported today. Hope you and yours are doing fine.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Thanks Elvis. Happy New Year .!.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

And they are just switching back on those nuclear power plants, many located on that coast. Another 311?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

We can’t beat nature. It will always defeat us. Get ready people.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Fukuoka not that much happening here, we have a Tsunami forecast, but that’s about it, but still, you need be stay vigilant and not get complacent with something major like this. Stay safe.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Officially Shindo 4 at our place, north Nagano, but felt stronger. We had some stuff fall off shelves. We had a small shake at 4:06, the main one at 4:10, and then another five minutes later. It was pretty scary.

The Sea of Japan side of Japan gets snow, so houses are generally built stronger to withstand this and it makes them more earthquakeproof than the Pacific coast. Shindo 7 was measured at the places that got it worst, so some buildings will definitely have collapsed. Since it is inaka, do not assume every damaged building you see on the news is a "house". Many of the most damaged buildings you see on the news will be garages and workshops.

Obviously a terrible start to the year. Winter's also the worse time to be without services like water and power. Natural disasters are easily the worst thing about Japan. Since its been three hours now, I assume the main tsunami risk must have passed. At Kumamoto, a very large earthquake was followed by a larger one 24 hours later, so stay safe everyone. There may be more to come.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Was a big one! All action stations there for a few hours. Luckily the waves never came. Happy New Years rockers! You just never know ay.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Some old dude (an Earthquake expert) was interviewed on the BBC news, and he claimed it wasn't a big one, and that 1m tsunami was simply to be expected.

I bet he's never experienced an Earthquake before...

0 ( +8 / -8 )

For those of us, living in Japan, local TV stations are showing people huddling together with blankets - spare a thought for the Residents of Ishikawa, a number of whom are spending the freezing night outside.

According to the WNN app, there have been 50 earthquakes today, its understandable for people not wishing to remain indoors under such circumstances.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Gary penn: “ I never felt an earthquake like that. It felt like being in a boat, very slowly rocking and swaying”

they are actually often like that, and the swaying ones are far “better” than the straight up and down ones. Actually, when you feel the well effects of a major quake far in the distance it’s often like that — a swaying back and forth. I told my partner to switch on the TV in the car ASAP to see where it hit (was sure it was at least a six somewhere). I’m sure it felt a lot differently where it hit.

stay safe!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Luckily it is a low snow year, so the houses in this area do not have a lot of snow on the roof.

Snow on the roof causes buildings to collapse more often during an earthquake due to the heavy load on the roof swaying side to side.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Over 500 km away here and the whole room was swaying while we were having a New Year's late lunch. Unusual for just about the whole of Japan to feel one earthquake.

1 ( +4 / -3 )



X Twitter response is saying the emergency warning so far has been on point!

Seems no deaths so far! Dare I say it; well done Japan!!

Stay safe.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

More coverage here:-


-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Adding 'This is the worst since thousands died' to the authorities' evacuation notice probably makes sense in the Japanese context. Japan has earthquakes, typhoons, etc with regularity so the response of people is generally a stoical, non panicking one. The extra urgency in the evacuation messages serves to bring home the need for quick escape by whatever means.

There is also the psychological factor of human responses to disaster emergencies - some survivors of 9/11 who were in the offices of the Towers later spoke about dead colleagues who delayed leaving because they were packing up stuff, doing things that were usually normal but highly risky under the impact of the extraordinary danger of the situation. Humans react in different ways and it's common for minds and physical reactions to be slowed down as a physiological response.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@nandakandamanda I'm 750 km away and felt it. It was a damn strange feeling.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

According to the news, two people have died in Ishikawa. Very sad.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

According to one Televised report, the hospital in the area impacted is short of staff given the influx of casualties. I find it somewhat surprising that an airlift of Medical Staff to where they're needed has not yet happened ? Were I to have my own Helicopter, I'd have done this myself - as I am sure that there are many Medics around who are eager to help, but just can't get there.

There are many Companies here in Central Tokyo with their own helicopters, what are they doing to help ?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Being based in Tokyo, for some time, now I've had my fair share of Earthquakes. 2011 was by far the biggest I experienced here, though the 1995 Kobe one, seems to be on par with this one. For the people based in Ishikawa I feel for you, the experience, is something no-one can really understand by simply watching it on TV, until, sadly, the day that you actually experience it, it's not fun at all.

Please don't make light of this situation, or try to make a Political point.

Do what you can to help, if you can. And when it comes to donations, beware of scammers - who will undoubtably try to take advantage of this situation.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Such "sea coast" of Japan has many superannuated nuclear plants. LDP regime continue to depend on it even if over design limit.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

We all may have our differences, Political or otherwise, though when a Natural Disaster strikes - how can you take sides, other than to put aide any differences, and do what you can to help - that is what makes us Human.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Most Kanazawa residents do not live on the coast, so no worries.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

We continue to monitor the situation as described at JMA (https://www.jma.go.jp/bosai/map.html#contents=tsunami&lang=en ), and concerned for the safety of everyone living in an area of warning or advisory. Please stay safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you for the app recommendations

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is the price to live in paradise..

Everybody be safe..

God bless Japan...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Overstating the risk of a Tsunami is NEVER a good thing.

One reason why people who could have run and take shelter back in 2011 is because they believed nothing was going to happen, because hysteric tsunami alarms and evacuation notices occurred all the time, even when absolutely nothing happened.

So, when there is a Tsunami advisory, after so many decades of Tsunami advisories, alerts and alarms that ended up in absolutely nothing, a lot of people just ignored it as they always do, because in their view, chances are this is the same as all those other times.

The really strong messaging on Tsunamis should be reserved for very dangerous situations.

It has been just about a decade since 2011, and chances are that it is going to take about 100 years to have something of that magnitude.

Right now people might be more sensible to that kind of rhetoric, because the images of 2011 are still fresh in the mind of some, but by the time the next big one comes, that memory would be long gone, and the hysteric announcement of every little tsunami there is becomes just "part of life", and therefore at that moment in time, when people SHOULD really be afraid of a Tsunami, they won't be, and the story repeats itself once again.

The media and government organizations, really have very bad judgment when it comes with risk management. In their view "it is better to be safe than sorry", without taking into account the long term consequences of their actions, and how their could become completely the oposite to what they want.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

This is the price to live in paradise.. 

I don’t know about all that….

Everybody be safe.. 

God bless Japan...

We definitely want Japan and any other country going through something tragic like this the best of luck, thoughts and prayers.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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