7.5-magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

A fatal Taiwan earthquake has left tens of thousands without power, and triggered tsunami warnings for neighbouring countries.
Taiwan earthquake

Tsunami warnings and evacuation orders have been issued in parts of Japan and the Philippines after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan.

The earthquake destroyed buildings after it hit the eastern Taiwanese city of Hualien on Wednesday morning. At least one person has died and dozens have been injured, according to early reports.

It was Taiwan’s strongest earthquake since 1999, when a 7.6-magnitude quake killed 2,400 people in the island’s deadliest natural disaster.

Tsunamis can be triggered by powerful earthquakes.

Taiwan earthquake

Nearly 90,000 homes are without power, according to Taiwan’s electricity operator.

Tsunami conditions have been forecasted for the southern coast of Japan (east of Taiwan).

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said: “People in coastal areas or along rivers should immediately evacuate to a safe location… Tsunamis strike repeatedly.”

Official tsunami advice for Japan’s Okinawa islands has been downgraded. Warnings were also issued for islands in the Philippines.

Earthquake aftershocks

Aftershocks – smaller quakes that follow a nearby/larger “mainshock” event – have been reported in the hours since the Taiwan earthquake.

Buildings in its capital Taipei have continued to shake, according to global news agency Reuters. Taipei is about 120kms north of the site of the original quake in Hualien.

Parts of Japan have also been warned about potential aftershocks over the coming days. A 2.2-magnitude quake was recorded in a southeastern province of the Philippines on Wednesday morning.

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