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Japan earthquake: No New Zealanders affected, MFAT says

Author
Lincoln Tan,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Jan 2024, 11:33am
The Earthquake Caused Damage At A Shrine In Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Photo / AP
The Earthquake Caused Damage At A Shrine In Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Photo / AP

Japan earthquake: No New Zealanders affected, MFAT says

Author
Lincoln Tan,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Jan 2024, 11:33am

No New Zealanders have been reported to be involved or affected by the massive earthquake that rocked the central part of Japan on New Year’s Day. 

Four people are confirmed to have been killed, the Kyodo news agency reports, and dozens of others injured after a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck about 4.10pm local time on Monday. 

Thousands spent the night in evacuation centres, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is not aware of New Zealanders affected. 

“There are currently 336 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel in Japan. We have not received any consular enquiries or requests for assistance at this stage,” an MFAT spokeswoman said. 

“SafeTravel messaging has been sent to registered New Zealanders regarding the earthquake and subsequent tsunami warnings.” 

Huge cracks in the pavement in Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture, after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck central Japan on New Year's Day. Photo / AP 

The earthquake and tsunami struck central Japan and its western coast on New Year’s Day, triggering warnings for residents to evacuate, knocking out power to thousands of homes and disrupting flights and rail services to the affected region. 

Authorities were still assessing the extent of the damage and residents needed to prepare for more tremors, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on public broadcaster NHK. 

“Residents need to stay on alert for further possible quakes and I urge people in areas where tsunamis are expected to evacuate as soon as possible,” Kishida said. 

Japanese media carried images showing a building collapsing in the coastal city of Suzu and huge cracks appearing on roads in Wajima. 

The quake also jolted buildings in the capital Tokyo, 500km away from Wajima on the opposite coast. 

More than 60 tremors were recorded after the initial quake. 

MFAT is urging all New Zealanders travelling in Japan to register on SafeTravel. 

Kiwis requiring urgent consular assistance can call the consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20. 

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