By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

This image provided by the Korea Meteorological Administration on Jan. 1, 2024, shows an area in Japan where a major earthquake was reported, prompting tsunami warnings in Japan and advisories against rising sea levels in South Korea.  (Yonhap)

MANILA – The Philippines is ready to provide assistance to Japan in the wake of a devastating earthquake that struck the East Asian country on New Year’s Day, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Tuesday.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Japan on New Year’s Day,” Marcos said in an X post.

“We have made the offer to assist in any way that we can. In the face of shared climate challenges within the Pacific Ring of Fire, we stand united with Japan and stay ready to provide support from the Philippines,” he added.

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Japan’s central Ishikawa prefecture on New Year’s Day, resulting in several casualties and injuries and leaving thousands of households without electricity.

Marcos said the Philippine government is keeping in touch with its counterparts in Japan to ensure the safety of Filipinos residing and working there.

“We are in close collaboration with the Japanese government to secure the welfare of our kababayans, who thankfully remain unharmed,” he said.

No Filipino has been killed or hurt during the earthquake, the Philippine Embassy in Japan said.

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the agency is monitoring the situation of Filipino workers in Japan, particularly in Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures.

Cacdac said there are a total of 1,194 Filipinos living in the two prefectures– 469 in Ishikawa and 725 in Toyama.

He added that around 90 percent of the Filipino workers there are in the manufacturing, welding and carpentry sectors, while a smaller percentage of around 10 percent are caregivers.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency immediately issued a tsunami warning along western coastal regions with authorities initially reporting the first waves hitting the coast just over 10 minutes later.

It was reported that tsunami waves of up to 1.2 meters hit a number of areas along Japan’s western coast.

All tsunami advisories were later removed by Japanese authorities. (PNA)