Japan walloped by magnitude 7.6 earthquake, government warns affected residents not to return home
A tsunami warning of Monday’s had not been issued since 2011.
At least 48 people have been reported dead amid the ongoing earthquakes in Japan that began on Monday.
Quakes continue to shake Ishikawa prefecture following the 7.6-magnitude disaster that struck the west coast of the island on New Year’s Day, prompting evacuations and emergency response.
“There is probably no people on earth other than Japanese who are so disaster-ready,” University of Tokyo professor Toshitaka Katada told The Associated Press.
“This is far from over,” he added. “Having too much confidence in the power of science is very dangerous. We are dealing with nature.”
JAPAN DOWNGRADES TSUNAMI WARNING AFTER EARTHQUAKE ROCKS REGION, AT LEAST FOUR CONFIRMED DEAD
Firefighters inspect collapsed wooden houses in Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture, a day after a major 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture in the afternoon. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
Disaster response officials reported that an additional 16 people have been seriously injured in the natural disasters, along with extensive damage to commercial and residential structures.
Authorities have not yet been able to total the cost of damages done to homes.
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This aerial photo provided by Jiji Press shows damage in the city of Suzu, Ishikawa prefecture. Japanese rescuers battled against the clock and powerful aftershocks on Jan. 2 to find survivors of a major earthquake that struck on New Year’s Day, killing at least 30 people and causing widespread destruction. (STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
The meteorological agency initially issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the western coast of Honshu, as well as for the northernmost of the country’s main islands, Hokkaido.
The warning was downgraded to a regular tsunami several hours later, meaning the sea could still generate waves of up to 10 feet.
Aftershocks could also slam the same area over the next few days, the agency said.
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People crouch following an earthquake at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan. Japan issued tsunami alerts Monday after a series of strong quakes in the Sea of Japan. (Kyodo News via AP)
“Saving lives is our priority and we are fighting a battle against time,” said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
He added, “It is critical that people trapped in homes get rescued immediately.”
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]