Morning tremor rattles Noto Peninsula, residents brace for more quakes and heavy rain

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Early Monday, just as dawn was breaking, the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture found itself rattled by another significant earthquake. Clocking in at an upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, this latest tremor comes a mere five months after the area was last rocked by a major quake.

The Meteorological Agency quickly reassured the public: no tsunami was expected. But the earthquake, registering a magnitude of 6.0 and striking about 14 kilometers underground, made its presence known, especially in the hard-hit cities of Wajima and Suzu at the peninsula’s tip.

While the sea might show slight fluctuations, there’s no cause for alarm over damage, the agency emphasized during an early morning briefing. However, they advised residents to stay on alert for potential aftershocks over the next week and to brace for heavy rain that could trigger landslides in the already precarious terrain. The forecast predicts significant rainfall come Monday night.

By 11 a.m., the Ishikawa Prefectural Government had logged 11 aftershocks registering 1 or higher on the shindo scale. The quake has unfortunately led to serious injury for one person in Tsubata and caused five homes, already weakened by the New Year’s Day quake, to collapse. Tokyo Electric Power reported no issues at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in nearby Niigata Prefecture, despite the area experiencing tremors of intensity 4.

This quake wasn’t shy about making its presence felt. Special early warning alerts buzzed smartphones as far away as the Kanto region, and strong shakes were reported in Niigata, Fukushima, and Toyama prefectures. Initially, the Meteorological Agency’s warning pegged the quake at a hefty 7.4 magnitude, but this was later corrected to 6.0. The agency is looking into why their initial estimate was so high, speculating that multiple quakes in quick succession might have muddled the readings.

Noto Peninsula, it seems, can’t catch a break. The region is still recovering from the significant quake on New Year’s Day and has been plagued by a series of tremors since 2020. Residents, resilient as ever, are likely to be on high alert but steadfast in facing nature’s unpredictable fury.

(Source: Associated Press | NHK | Kyodo News)

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