7.4 magnitude earthquake off Taiwan’s east coast triggers tsunami warnings in Japan

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Taipei: A powerful earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale rocked Taiwan’s eastern shores on Wednesday, as confirmed by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

“Notable quake, preliminary info: M 6.5 – 11 km NE of Hualien City, Taiwan,” said the USGS in a post on X.

The tremor triggered tsunami alerts in southern Japan.

The epicentre of the temblor was located in the Pacific Ocean, 25.0 kilometres south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km, according to the administration’s Seismology Center, Central News Agency reported.

An intensity level of 5+ was reported in Yilan County in the northeast and in Miaoli County in the north, while 5- was reported in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City and Hsinchu County in the north, Taichung City, Changhua County and Nantou County in central Taiwan, the Central Weather Agency said.

Due to the temblor, metro systems in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung were suspended and the suspension is expected to last 40 to 60 minutes, CNA reported.

A tsunami warning has been declared for the coastal areas of southwestern Japan’s Miyakojima and Yaeyama regions, as well as the main island of Okinawa in Okinawa Prefecture. Authorities have urged residents in these regions to promptly evacuate to higher ground or safe locations, NHK reported.

Reports indicate a 30-centimeter tsunami was recorded at Yonaguni Island around 9:18 am. Japan time on Wednesday. Forecasters anticipate tsunami waves reaching up to 3 meters in height in the affected area.

The alert was prompted by an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.5, occurring shortly before 9 am The Japan Meteorological Agency identified the earthquake’s epicenter near Taiwan, according to NHK.

Anticipated tsunami arrival times are projected for 9:30 a.m. in the Miyakojima-Yaeyama region and 10 am in the Okinawa main island region.

In response, the Japan Meteorological Agency sounded the alarm for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands, cautioning residents about imminent waves as high as 3 meters, NHK reported.

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