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Major Earthquake Rocks Taiwan, Strongest In 25 Years; Tsunami Warning Issued In Japan

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake shook Taiwan, causing a tsunami that struck Japan's Yonaguni Island. The tremor led to collapsed buildings in Hualien and suspended train services nationwide. Fortunately, no casualties were immediately reported.
08:26 AM Apr 03, 2024 IST | Aniket Raj
major earthquake rocks taiwan  strongest in 25 years  tsunami warning issued in japan
Taiwan Earthquake

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake shook Taiwan on Wednesday, causing a tsunami on Japan's Yonaguni Island. This seismic event marks the most powerful tremor to hit Taiwan in 25 years, surpassing the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Nantou county in 1999.

The quake caused buildings to collapse in Hualien city, Taiwan, and led to the suspension of train services nationwide. Schools and government offices were provided with the option to cancel classes and work in response to the situation.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported the earthquake's magnitude as 7.4, while Taiwan's earthquake monitoring agency stated it registered at 7.2 on the Richter scale.

The earthquake occurred at 7:58 am, approximately 18 km south-southwest of Hualien, with a depth of about 35 km. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), Taipei experienced several aftershocks, one of which measured 6.5 magnitude and was around 11.8 km deep.

In Hualien, a five-storey building partially collapsed, leaving it tilted at a 45-degree angle, with videos of the structure circulating on social media.

Additionally, train services were halted throughout Taiwan, and in Taipei, the capital, reports emerged of tiles falling from buildings. The national legislature, a converted school constructed prior to World War II, suffered damage to its walls and ceilings, according to reports.

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No immediate injuries or casualties have been reported. The earthquake also caused a landslide, the video of which has become viral on social media.

In Japan, authorities reported a tsunami wave measuring approximately 1 foot on Yonaguni Island about 15 minutes after the earthquake hit Taiwan. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of Okinawa prefecture, cautioning residents that tsunami waves up to 3 meters were expected along the country's southwestern coast.

This marked the first tsunami warning in Okinawa in 26 years, with the previous one issued in 1998 following a 7.7 earthquake south of Ishigaki Island. However, the agency later downgraded the warning to an advisory.

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