About 250 junior high school students left their families in the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday on a group evacuation following a powerful earthquake that struck the central Japan prefecture on New Year's Day.

The students will stay at prefectural lodging facilities in the southern Ishikawa city of Hakusan, some 100 kilometers away, for up to two months so they can continue with their classes.

The group evacuation was arranged after all three public junior high schools in the city became evacuation centers following the quake, according to the Wajima board of education. Heavy damage sustained by school buildings also rendered them unable to host classes.