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Taiwan Earthquake: 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake, Strongest in 25 Years. Japan Issues Tsunami Warning

Taiwan Earthquake: 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake, Strongest in 25 Years. Japan Issues Tsunami WarningTaiwan Earthquake: 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake, Strongest in 25 Years. Japan Issues Tsunami Warning

Taiwan Earthquake: The USGS reported the earthquake’s magnitude to be 7.4, whereas the Meteorological Agency of Japan estimated it to be 7.7.

A massive 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east shortly before 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday, April 3, sparking tsunami warnings for the self-ruled island and sections of southern Japan. Following the earthquake in Taiwan, the Philippines issued a tsunami warning and Taiwan ordered the evacuation of coastal districts.

According to Taiwan’s fire department, one person is suspected of being crushed to death by falling rocks in the hilly, thinly populated eastern county of Hualien, where the epicenter occurred, with more than 50 injured.

Approximately 26 buildings have collapsed, the majority of which are in Hualien, with around 20 individuals currently trapped. Rescue efforts are underway.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a magnitude of 7.4 for the earthquake, locating its epicenter 18 kilometers south of Hualien City in Taiwan, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers. However, Japan’s Meteorological Agency estimated the magnitude to be 7.7.

According to the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre, the earthquake that struck Taiwan’s eastern region is deemed “the most powerful in 25 years.” Wu Chien-fu, addressing reporters, emphasized that the earthquake’s proximity to land and its shallow depth contributed to its widespread impact, felt across Taiwan and its offshore islands. He noted that it marks the strongest seismic event since the 1999 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.6 and resulted in the loss of 2,400 lives.

In Hualien, a sparsely populated area, a five-story building sustained significant damage, with its first floor collapsing and the remaining floors tilting at a 45-degree angle. Meanwhile, in Taipei, the capital city, tiles fell from older buildings, and there were reports of damage within certain newer office complexes.

Updates on the earthquake in Taiwan.
  • The earthquake originating off the coast of Taiwan shook Taipei, the capital, resulting in power outages in various areas of the city.
  • Taiwanese television stations broadcasted footage of collapsed buildings in Hualien, located near the epicenter of the earthquake. Media outlets also reported instances of individuals being trapped in the debris.
  • A Reuters witness reported that the tremor could be felt as far away as Shanghai.
  • As per the Taiwan Central Weather Administration, the epicenter was situated just off the eastern coast of Hualien County, in the waters adjacent to the eastern shoreline of Taiwan Island.
  • According to reports, tsunami waves with heights of up to three meters were anticipated imminently for remote Japanese islands in the vicinity, including Miyakojima island. “Get out!” was the message on a banner that ran on Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK.
  • An NHK anchor warned, “A tsunami is approaching. Please evacuate immediately,” emphasizing, “Do not pause. Do not return.”
  • As per the news agency AFP, live television coverage from ports in the Okinawa region, including Naha, depicted vessels departing for sea, potentially as a measure to safeguard their ships.
  • Train service throughout the island, which is home to 23 million people, was halted, along with subway operations in Taipei. However, normalcy swiftly resumed in the capital, with children attending school and the morning commute seeming unaffected.

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  • In Taiwan’s capital Taipei, buildings experienced a brief tremor as an aftershock followed the powerful earthquake.
  • Taiwan was hit by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in September 1999, claiming the lives of approximately 2,400 individuals in the deadliest natural calamity recorded in the island’s history.
  • Japan encounters approximately 1,500 tremors annually. 

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