"Strongest Earthquake In 25 Years" Hits Taiwan - Tsunami Warning

On wednesday morning, a powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan's east, triggering tsunami alerts for the independent island nation as well as areas of southern japan and the Philippines. The epicenter of the earthquake, according to the united states Geological survey (USGS), was located 34.8 kilometers deep and 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien City, taiwan, and struck immediately before 8:00 am local time (0000 GMT).
The Meteorological Agency of japan issued a warning for isolated Japanese islands in the area, including Miyakojima island, about tsunami waves that might reach heights of up to three meters (10 feet).

"To remind people in coastal areas to be vigilant and take strict precautions and pay attention to the dangers caused by sudden surges in waves," Taiwanese officials sent out a text message warning residents of an impending tsunami.
Taiwan had the first earthquake, as reported by AFP reporters from Taipei's southern Pingtung county to the north, who reported intense shaking.
Taipei was also affected by the aftershocks, which included an earthquake near Hualien with a magnitude of 6.5, according to the city's meteorology bureau.
In the capital, local borough leaders issued cautions to citizens to check for any gas leaks, and the metro momentarily stopped operating but seems to have returned within an hour.

"I wanted to flee, but I had no clothes on. That was powerful', remarked Kelvin Hwang, a visitor to a hotel in the downtown area who took refuge in the ninth-floor elevator lobby.
The earthquake was the biggest to be felt on the island in decades, according to officials.
"The earthquake is shallow and occurs near land. The head of Taipei's Central Weather Administration's Seismology Centre, Wu Chien-fu, stated that the earthquake was felt throughout taiwan and outlying islands.
He told reporters, "It's the strongest in 25 years since the (1999) earthquake."
The greatest natural catastrophe in Taiwan's history was in september 1999, when a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the island, killing almost 2,400 people.

Wu warned that authorities are not ruling out that "there will be earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.5 to 7 in three days which will be relatively close to the land".
"The public should pay attention to relevant warnings and messages and be prepared for earthquake evacuation."

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