At least four people have been killed by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the west coast of Japan on Monday, according to local authorities.

The tsunami warnings have been downgraded to tsunami advisory, however authorities advised residents to remain vigilant as several aftershocks continue to shake the country.

Meanwhile, severe damages have been reported in buildings, roads and infrastructure and most communication services have been disrupted.

There are reports that people are still trapped underneath rubble of buildings, while thousands of Japanese spend the night at shelters. Fires have broken out in several buildings.

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale jolted Japan earlier today causing extensive damage on the first day of 2024, Monday.