Earthquake of 7.6 magnitude strikes in Japan.

An earthquake struck the Noto peninsula at around 4:10 p.m., local time, and had a magnitude of 7.6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 7.5 magnitude.

An aftershock is usually a smaller earthquake that follows a larger one in the same general area. Aftershocks are typically minor adjustments along the portion of a fault that slipped at the time of the initial earthquake.

Aftershocks can occur days, weeks or even years after the first earthquake. These events can be of equal or larger magnitude to the initial earthquake, and they can continue to affect already damaged locations.

he quake shook the Noto Peninsula in the central prefecture of Ishikawa on Monday afternoon, collapsing buildings, sparking fires and triggering tsunami alerts as far away as eastern Russia.

At least 57 people have been killed by the earthquake, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, citing officials from the Ishikawa prefecture.

And five people were killed at Tokyo Haneda airport on Tuesday when a Japan Airlines jet collided with a coast guard plane on its way to provide earthquake relief.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency lifted all tsunami advisories along portions of the country’s western coast Tuesday, but more than 24 hours after the quake struck, there has been limited access to the northern part of the secluded Noto Peninsula.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after a disaster emergency meeting Tuesday that a destroyed road had cut access to the area.

On Tuesday the fire department in Wajima City reported that about 200 buildings were believed to have burned down on Asaichi Street, a popular tourist area in Wajima, in a fire that broke out Monday, NHK reported.

The department also said 25 buildings, including houses, had collapsed, and 14 structures may still have people trapped inside, according to NHK.

In addition around 500 people are stranded at Noto Airport after the terminal was damaged. They are being provided food and blankets, but nearby roads are damaged so they can’t get out, NHK reported Tuesday, adding that the airport will be closed until at least Thursday.

The earthquake and tsunami warnings prompted thousands of people to flee coastal areas. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 27,700 people in Ishikawa had taken shelter in 336 evacuation centers.

While the extent of the damage from Monday’s quake is still being determined, it is far from the levels of destruction wrought by 2011’s 9.0 magnitude quake, which triggered a tsunami causing a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant, in a disaster that’s still being felt to this day.

Water, power and cell phone service were still down in some areas. Residents expressed sorrow about their uncertain futures.

Of the deaths, 29 were counted in Wajima city, while 22 people died in Suzu, according to Ishikawa Prefectural authorities. Dozens of people have been seriously injured, including in nearby prefectures.

Japan is frequently hit by earthquakes because of its location along the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Katada warned the situation remains precarious and unpredictable. The March 2011 quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan had been preceded by other quakes.

On Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the western coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu, as well as for the northern island of Hokkaido.

People who were evacuated from their houses huddled in auditoriums, schools and community centers. Bullet trains in the region were halted, but service was mostly restored. Sections of highways were closed.

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