Over 100,000 people in Japan spent the night in evacuation centres after a powerful earthquake.

Four people were confirmed to have been killed, the Kyodo news agency reports, and dozens of others have been injured.

An unknown number of people are trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in several towns.

The 7.6-magnitude quake struck at around 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT) on Monday. Tsunami warnings were issued and later downgraded.

About 60 tremors have been recorded following the initial quake.

A snowboarder on holiday in Japan’s Hakuba Alps said his entire hotel room shook. Speaking to Reuters, Baldwin Chia said he was concerned about avalanches but hadn’t received reports of any taking place.

He said it was common to hear about earthquakes in Japan, but “you wouldn’t expect to actually experience one”.

Andy Clark, a Briton in Japan, described to the BBC a “scary afternoon and evening”, as he was in the affected coastal city of Toyama when the quake hit.

He said he “grabbed the sea wall to stay upright” before heading to a school roof for safety. Mr Clark said it was proving “hard to get some sleep” due to the aftershocks.

Jeffrey Hall, a lecturer at Kanda University, said he felt tremors for about two minutes despite being in Yokohama, on the other side of Japan’s main island. He told the BBC the quake was “very, very serious”.

Local residents rest at an elementary school acting as an evacuation shelter after an earthquake hit central Japan

Residents in central Japanese towns and cities were forced to move into shelters for the night

The full extent of the damage is unlikely to be clear until Tuesday morning, but major damage to infrastructure is evident.

Officials in Suzu City in Ishikawa prefecture said several houses and power poles collapsed, according to national broadcaster NHK.

Major highways were closed near the quake’s epicentre and more than 36,000 households were left without power, according to utilities provider Hokuriku Electric Power.

The BBC’s former Japan correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes – who was reporting from Taiwan – said several hundred metres of the main expressway between the cities of Toyama and Kanazawa had been ripped apart by a landslide.

Video from Uchinada, also in Ishikawa prefecture, showed the surface of a road rippled and cracked. Damage to the Onohiyoshi Shrine in Kanazawa was also pictured.

Related posts

Leave a Comment