Powerful Earthquake hits Taiwan, tsunami warning issued

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“The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It’s felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands… It’s the strongest in 25 years,” said Wu Chien Fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre.

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.4 Richter Scale hit Taiwan’s eastern shores on Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings for the island as well as parts of southern Japan.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicentre 18 kilometres (11 miles) south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 km.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency initially gave the magnitude as 7.2. Japan’s meteorological agency later upgraded the quake to magnitude 7.7, at a shallow depth of 20km.

“The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It’s felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands… It’s the strongest in 25 years,” said Wu Chien Fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre.

In September 1999, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, killing 2,400 people and destroying 5,000 buildings.

The tremor triggered tsunami alerts in southern Japan also. As per reports, a 30-centimeter tsunami was recorded at Yonaguni Island around 9:18 am. Japan time today.

In response, the Japan Meteorological Agency sounded the alarm for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands, cautioning residents about imminent waves as high as 3 meters.

“Tsunami is coming. Please evacuate immediately,” Japanese national broadcaster NHK said. The Philippines’ seismology agency has also issued a tsunami warning.

Chinese state media said tremors were felt in parts of China’s south-eastern Fujian province.

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