Taiwan Tsunami Warning Issued | Strongest earthquake in 25 years in Japan’s Taiwan, death toll rising, more than 1300 injured, strong tsunami alert issued

Taiwan Tsunami Warning Issued |  Strongest earthquake in 25 years in Japan’s Taiwan, death toll rising, more than 1300 injured, strong tsunami alert issued

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At least four people were killed and dozens injured when an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan on Wednesday, also triggering a tsunami off Japan’s Yonaguni island. It is the most powerful earthquake to hit Taiwan in the past 25 years since a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the country’s Nantou County in 1999, killing more than 2,500 people and injuring more than 1,300 others.

Local fire department officials said four people died in Hualien County, the epicenter of the quake, the Associated Press reported. According to Reuters news agency, more than 50 people were injured by falling rocks in Hualien. The earthquake also damaged buildings in Hualien, while train services were suspended throughout Taiwan. Schools and government offices were given options to cancel classes and work.

While the US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4, Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency said it measured 7.2 on the Richter scale. The earthquake occurred at 7.58 a.m. about 18 km south-southwest of Hualien and at a depth of about 35 km.

The USGS said several aftershocks struck Taipei, including one with a magnitude of 6.5 and a depth of about 11.8 km. A five-story building in Hualien partially collapsed on the first floor, causing the building to tilt at an angle of 45 degrees. Videos of the leaning building have surfaced on social media.

Meanwhile, train services were also suspended across Taiwan and there were reports of tiles falling from buildings in the capital, Taipei. The National Legislature, a converted school built before World War II, also suffered damage to walls and ceilings, the Associated Press reported. The earthquake also caused landslides, footage of which has gone viral on social media.

In Japan, officials said a tsunami wave of about 1 foot was detected on Yonaguni Island about 15 minutes after the earthquake struck Taiwan. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a tsunami warning for residents of coastal areas of Okinawa Prefecture, warning that tsunami waves of up to 3 meters were expected to reach the country’s southwestern coast.

According to the JMA, it was the first tsunami warning in Okinawa in 26 years, with the last warning issued in 1998 after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake south of Ishigaki Island. But later the agency reduced the warning to advisory.

The Japan Self-Defense Force has deployed aircraft to monitor the tsunami’s impact and is also preparing evacuation shelters. The country’s flag carrier, Japan Airlines, suspended all flights to and from the Okinawa and Kagoshima areas, and diverted flights headed to areas where tsunami advisories had been issued.

A spokesperson for Okinawa’s Naha Airport confirmed to CNN that all flights were diverted due to fears of tsunami impact, while staff and personnel were evacuated to the third floor. While China has not issued any tsunami warnings for the mainland, the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there is no threat to Hawaii or Guam.

Scary pictures of earthquake-



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