You are currently viewing Japan’s earthquake devastation captured from space

Japan’s earthquake devastation captured from space

2024-01-03 13:54:20

Japan is reeling from the aftermath of a devastating 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the central part of the East Asian nation on New Year’s Day, claiming at least 57 lives and damaging hundreds of houses.

Satellite pictures obtained from US space firm Maxar Technologies showed the scale of devastation in the coastal cities of Suzu and Wajima on the Noto peninsula, which has reported a majority of deaths. The photos were captured on Tuesday morning.

Monday’s quake is touted as the deadliest since 2016, when at least 270 people were killed, 2800 injured, and nearly 2 lakh houses were damaged in Kumamoto city.

Satellite imagery of Japan’s deadly earthquake on January 1.

The quake’s impact was so severe that it prompted Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to declare the northern area of the remote peninsula inaccessible due to wrecked roads and infrastructure damage.

According to the US Geological Survey, more than 100 aftershocks were recorded after the initial earthquake.

Suzu City: A town in ruins

The coastal city of Suzu, near the quake’s epicentre, is believed to be the hardest hit by the earthquake and the following tsunami. About 90 per cent of houses in this town of over 5,000 households may have been destroyed, according to Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya.

“The situation is catastrophic,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

The quake not only flattened homes but also sent cars and houses into the water as tsunami waves hit the western coastal areas. Viral videos showed several boats foundering dramatically in the city’s harbour due to strong winds and sea currents. Many cars were washed deep inside the city from coastal areas.

Many ships were overturned by the tsunami on January 1. A dock line was also destroyed. Photo credit: Google Earth and Maxar Technologies

Wajima Port: A scene of destruction

The destruction extends to Wajima, another coastal city on the remote northern tip of Noto where 25 buildings, including homes, collapsed. A devastating fire erupted following the earthquake, reducing much of a popular tourist destination and a busy morning market to ashes. Around Asaichi Street, approximately 200 buildings, including shops and residences, were destroyed by fire.

Severe damages were reported from Wajima following earthquake and fire. Photo: Maxar Technologies

“I’ve never experienced a quake that powerful,” said Wajima resident Shoichi Kobayashi, 71, who was at home having a celebratory New Year’s meal with his wife and son when the quake struck, sending furniture flying across the dining room.

Similarly, Ukai Port, situated barely 12 km from Suzu city, suffered massive losses along the coastline.

Photo: Maxar Technologies

Rescue and relief

Authorities are racing against time to rescue many people feared trapped under damaged homes in coastal areas amid freezing temperatures in severely-hit Ishikawa Prefecture, Japanese media reported.

About 9,400 households in Wajima city and about 7,800 in Suzu did not have access to power on Wednesday, as per local broadcaster NHK.

(As seen from space – soil liquefaction, a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of soil is reduced by earthquake shaking. Photo: Maxar technologies)

Prime Minister Kishida has said that efforts were underway to transfer goods, supplies, and personnel to the affected areas, utilising all available means of transport.

Japan, located on the “Ring of Fire,” is no stranger to natural disasters. However, this quake has tested the nation’s mettle. Adding to the distress, a Coast Guard aircraft en route to aid the quake-hit region collided with a commercial aeroplane at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, claiming five lives. Fortunately, all 379 passengers on board the Japan Airlines (JAL) plane were evacuated even as the aircraft was in flames.

Published By:

Srishti Jha

Published On:

Jan 3, 2024

Japan earthquake, Japan earthquake deaths, Japan quake news, Japan Tsunami, Japan tsunami warning, Japan earthquake magnitude, japan tsunami Live, japan news

Source link