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On January 1, 2024, a slew of powerful earthquakes rocked Japan, leaving nearly 50 dead, while authorities were still having difficulty assessing the extent of the devastation. Up to 155 earthquakes have struck the island nation since Monday, the Japan Meteorological Office reported, including a 7.6 magnitude jolt and another more than 6.

Soon after the initial earthquake, authorities warned of impending tsunamis, with waves as high as five feet hitting the nation. According to news agency Reuters, approximately 33,000 households were still without power on Tuesday. Additionally, a number of crucial national routes, including major highways, are not operating, which makes it difficult for army personnel and medics to provide rescue services.

The preliminary earthquake, which struck in the middle of Monday afternoon with a magnitude of 7.6, forced residents of some coastal areas to evacuate to higher ground as tsunami waves approached the west coast of the nation. Cars and a few houses werehed into the ocean by the waves.

The area of Japan most severely damaged by the earthquakes is the relatively isolated Noto Peninsula, where thousands of army soldiers have been sent. However, damaged and blocked roads have hindered rescue efforts, and one of the area’s airports had to close because of runway cracks. There have also been a lot of cancelled flights and rail services into the area.

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