Noto Earthquake Report: Graphic Photos of the Gruesome Aftermath | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Noto Earthquake Report: Graphic Photos of the Gruesome Aftermath

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A car crushed by a collapsed house. Photo taken on January 2 in Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture.I had an ominous feeling the moment the quake struck.The photographer for this magazine, who lives in Toyama Prefecture, had become accustomed to the large earthquakes that have frequently occurred in the Hokuriku region since 2000. He also covered the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.  

“This is not good.”

That’s what I felt right after the quake. I had no reason to ask why. I felt something different from a normal earthquake, and I warned my family, who had gathered at my parent’s house for the New Year’s holiday, “It’s going to be big!”

“Stay down! Get down!”

In no time at all, the shaking intensified. The TV almost toppled over, and small items on the wardrobe fell out with a thud. The children’s faces turned pale with fear, and the strong impact, which lasted for about two minutes, made it impossible for them to stand.

An unimaginable scene.


Shortly after 4:00 p.m. on the evening of New Year’s Day, 2024, a major earthquake hit a wide area on the Sea of Japan coast from Hokkaido to Kyushu. The epicenter was located about 30 km east-northeast of Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture, with a maximum intensity of 7 degrees. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.6, which is higher than that of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995. At least 60 people are said to have died in the quake.

In the early morning of January 2, the day after the earthquake, a photographer for this magazine drove from Toyama Prefecture to Ishikawa Prefecture, which was severely damaged. However, they were unable to proceed as far as they wished due to the transportation network being cut off, including roads that had caved in. When they finally arrived at the coastal town of Nanao City in Ishikawa Prefecture just before noon, they were met with an unimaginable scene.

More than a dozen houses had collapsed. Several cars were wrecked. The windows of a convenience store were shattered and merchandise was strewn on the floor.

As of January 2, the full extent of the damage caused by the tsunami, liquefaction, and landslides, which reached up to 5 meters high, was not yet known. There are reports of large fires in several locations in Ishikawa Prefecture, and many people were left behind in collapsed houses or buried alive. The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned people to be on the alert for strong aftershocks until around January 10.

This magazine will continue to report damage information from the area as needed.

FRIDAY Digital welcomes any information or tip-offs you may have. Please send your information to the following information form or to the official X.

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People at a loss in front of collapsed houses
Convenience store windows are cruelly broken and merchandise is scattered.
Many houses collapsed in Nanao City.
Lanterns at a temple were also toppled.
The Noto Peninsula was celebrating the New Year when the massive earthquake struck.
There is no time frame for recovery.
Houses and cars are still in a state of disrepair. 
Convenience stores are in a miserable state.
Houses on the verge of collapse
More than 30 people have died
More than 30,000 people are forced to live as evacuees in Ishikawa Prefecture alone
Many people have been forced to evacuate since New Year’s Day
  • PHOTO Junpei Kota

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