A 7.5-magnitude earthquake that shook Japan’s western region on Monday afternoon has put the nation on alert.
Residents were advised to leave the impacted coastal districts right away after the earthquake set off a tsunami alarm.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres, around 42 kilometres (26 miles) northeast of Anamizu in Ishikawa prefecture, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Ishikawa prefecture’s Noto Peninsula is the biggest to be recorded there since records first started in 1885, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
The calamity was followed by more than a dozen earthquakes.
Major tsunami warnings were sent out by JMA to locals, advising them to expect waves as high as five metres and as low as three metres in some areas.
This is the first significant tsunami warning that has been issued since Japan’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake in 2011, which lost over 10,000 people.
Russia and neighbouring South Korea also acted in response to the tsunami warnings issued on Monday.
Despite the bitter cold, Japanese media flashed the word “EVACUATE” on television, advising citizens to evacuate to higher ground.
“We realise your home, your belongings are all precious to you, but your lives are important above everything else. Run to the highest ground possible,” a presenter said.
National media outlet NHK broadcast footage of a building crumbling in a cloud of dust in the seaside city of Suzu and people fleeing under tables in Kanazawa city while their house trembled.
Tokyo’s capital buildings were also shaken by the earthquake.
There are no longer any bullet trains running between Tokyo and Ishikawa Prefecture, and motorways have been closed.
The Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, announced that the government has established a special emergency centre to promptly warn locals about the earthquakes and tsunami.