French seer Nostradamus. Imnage/

The New Year's Day earthquake in Japan has given enough fodder to conspiracy theorists, with many claiming that French seer Nostradamus had already predicted this for 2024.

The 16th-century astrologer, in his book "Les Prophecies", did predict natural calamities and disasters in 2024. People have now linked the prophecy with the tsunami warning issued in the wake of the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck central Japan on January 1.

He said the planet will be hotter than it has ever been and wrote that the temperatures will be so high that it will "half cook" fish in the sea. He also warned of great floods. "The dry earth will grow more parched, and there will be great floods when it is seen," reads an excerpt from his book.

His prophecies for the year also talk about the worsening climate crisis, a possible geopolitical conflict, and King Charles III's reign. He is believed to have correctly predicted the Great Fire of London, the rise of Adolf Hitler, the death of Napoleon, and the killing of John F. Kennedy.

However, his prophecies have often been wrongly linked with current events to spread unnecessary panic. Most of his predictions are generic, and the age he lived in was very different from current times.

Besides Nostradamus, Baba Vanga, a blind Bulgarian clairvoyant born in 1911, is also said to have made many predictions for the year.

Vanga foretold that the year 2024 will also see terrifying weather events and natural disasters. And it seems that her predictions might have already come true.

However, it needs to be noted that Vanga had also claimed that a solar storm with devastating consequences would hit the earth in 2023, but that did not happen. Therefore, we need not worry yet.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Japan has jumped to 161 from 128 reported yesterday. It has become one of the biggest natural disasters in the country's history.

Thousands of rescuers have been roped in from across the country to search for survivors. However, bad weather and damaged roads have made the task difficult. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers battle aftershocks and poor weather.

The worst-affected Ishikawa region is now covered in snow, making rescue and search operations harder still. More than 28,800 people are still living in government shelters. Around 20,700 households still do not have electricity in their homes, while over 66,100 households have no water.

"The first priority has been to rescue people under the rubble, and to reach isolated communities," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday.