The devastating magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck Japan on Monday resulted in at least 30 fatalities, primarily in Ishikawa Prefecture. Reports from Japanese television station NHK detailed significant damage in Wajima, where over 200 buildings were engulfed in flames, and 25 structures collapsed, potentially trapping individuals inside.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described the widespread damage and cautioned that casualty numbers might escalate, emphasizing the priority of saving lives. He mentioned the deployment of 1,000 defense force personnel for rescue operations, despite challenges caused by severely damaged roads and the closure of a regional airport due to runway cracks.

Approximately 1,000 people found shelter at a Wajima air force base, receiving essential supplies. While tsunami warnings were lifted, the earthquake generated a 1.2-meter tsunami in Wajima and smaller waves elsewhere.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of potential additional strong quakes in the coming days following this shallow earthquake, which struck at 4:10 pm local time on Monday. The tremor’s epicenter was situated in the Noto Peninsula region, affecting a vast area from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the southwest.

Japan’s susceptibility to earthquakes underscores the country’s ongoing seismic challenges.