A series of powerful earthquakes hit western Japan on Jan. 1, killing at least 55 people and damaging thousands of buildings, vehicles and boats. Japanese officials warn that more earthquakes could lie ahead.

Aftershocks continued to shake Ishikawa Prefecture and nearby areas after the initial magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the area.

According to Japan’s Geospatial Information Authority (GSI), the earthquake may have shifted land in the Noto region near the peninsula, where the ocean floor shifted and generated tsunami waves of about 80cm in height. GSI said preliminary figures indicate that an observation point in Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture saw the biggest shift, which moved about 1.3 metres west.

Land appears to have shifted about 20 centimetres to the northwest in the prefectures of Toyama and Niigata. Several centimetres of land shifts were observed in the Kanto-Koshin region and elsewhere.

Scientists have also been watching Japan from space, comparing satellite images taken before and after the earthquake.

Read more in GPS World article