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Earthquake of 7.2 magnitude rocks Taiwan's Hualien, Japan issues tsunami alert

Taiwan Earthquake: A powerful earthquake struck Taiwan early Wednesday, rocking the entire island and collapsing buildings following which Japan issued a tsunami alert.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Taipei Updated on: April 03, 2024 6:55 IST
Massive earthquake jolts Taiwan
Image Source : AP Massive earthquake jolts Taiwan

Taiwan Earthquake: An earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit Taiwan's Hualien, said officials on Wednesday. Moments after the jolt in the neighbouring country, Japan issued a tsunami alert for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa. No report of death or injuries has yet been reported in the region.

Taiwan's earthquake monitoring agency gave the magnitude as 7.2 while the US Geological Survey put it at 7.5. Television showed buildings in Taiwan's eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations. The quake could be felt in the capital Taipei.

The quake could be felt as far as Shanghai, according to a witness. 

The epicentre was just off the coast of the eastern county of Hualien, in waters off the eastern coastline of Taiwan Island, the Taiwan Central Weather Administration said. 

The Philippines Seismology Agency also issued a warning for residents in coastal areas of several provinces, urging them to evacuate to higher ground. The quake was felt in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in China's Fujian province, according to Chinese state media. The Taipei city government has not received any reports of damage and the city's MRT was up and running soon after.

Southern Taiwan Science Park, where semiconductor giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2330.TW), opens new tab has a plant, said companies were operating without impact. Taiwan’s official central news agency said the quake was the biggest to hit the island since 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude tremor killed around 2,400 people.

Japan issues evacuation advisory for Okinawa 

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) after the quake hit at 7:58 am. About half an hour later, it said the first wave of the tsunami was already believed to have arrived on the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas of the southern prefecture of Okinawa after a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami warning.

Tsunami waves of up to 3 metres were expected to reach large areas of Japan's southwestern coast, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The warning came after a very shallow earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 struck in the ocean near Taiwan. 

A 30 cm tsunami reached Yonaguni Island at 9:18 a.m. (0018 GMT), JMA said.

Japan was rocked by its deadliest quake in eight years on New Year's Day when a 7.6 magnitude temblor struck in Ishikawa prefecture, on the western coast. More than 230 people died in the quake that left 44,000 homes fully or partially destroyed.

(With Reuters inputs)

Also read: Biden speaks to Xi Jinping over phone call, discusses US-China bilateral ties, Taiwan and AI

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