A powerful earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale jolted Japan on the first day of 2024, Monday.

Due to the magnitude of the earthquake, a major tsunami warning has been issued for the Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama prefectures, where it is feared waves could reach 3 to 5 meters.

The authorities also urged residents to evacuate their homes and head for high ground immediately, following a series of aftershocks.

According to public broadcaster NHK, the earthquake hit north-central Japan. The Hokuriku Electric Power is checking for problems at its nuclear plants, it was reported.