Tsunami reach southwestern Japanese islands after M7.5 quake hits off Taiwan

by Apr 3, 2024Featured Article, News

A powerful earthquake struck off Taiwan at 8:58 a.m. local time on Wednesday, rocking the entire island and collapsing buildings. Japan issued a tsunami alert for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa.

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters. A wave of 30 centimeters was detected on the coast of Yonaguni island about 15 minutes after the quake struck. The agency said waves aer likely to hit the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency gave the magnitude as 7.2 while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.5. It struck about 18 kilometers south-southwest of Hualien and was about 35 kilometers deep.

In Taiwan, a five-story building in lightly populated Hualien appeared heavily damaged, collapsing its first floor and leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle. In the capital, Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings and within some newer office complexes.

Train service was suspended across the island of 23 million people, as was subway service in Taipei. But things quickly returned to normal in the capital, with children going to school and the morning commute appearing to be normal.

The head of Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring bureau, Wu Chien-fu, said effects were detected as far away as Kinmen, a Taiwanese-controlled island off the coast of China. Multiple aftershocks were felt in Taipei in the hour after the initial quake.

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