Scenes of destruction were seen along Japan's west coast on Tuesday as rescuers scrambled to free residents trapped in the rubble of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that has sent off multiple aftershocks and killed dozens of people.

At least 50 people have been confirmed killed by the early hours of January 2, a spokesman for Ishikawa Prefecture confirmed to CNN.

A large number of trained personnel are in the worst-hit areas to find survivors, but are racing against time as entire buildings have collapsed.

In the city of Wajima, there have been numerous fires and according to the fire department, 100 houses and buildings have been completely burnt. Among the 30 victims, 15 of them were reported in this city.