Earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hits Taiwan’s Taipei; Philippines, Japan warn of tsunami

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Taipei: A strong earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude on Richter Scale struck Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, on Wednesday morning, triggering a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines. There is no immediate report of any loss of life or injury to anyone. According to a Taipei seismology official, today’s earthquake in Taiwan is the “strongest in 25 years”.

The powerful quake jolted the entire island and brought down several buildings. Several television visuals showed buildings in Taiwan’s eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations and and media reported some people were trapped. Islandwide train service and subway service was suspended in Taipei.

According to Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency, the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.2 while the US Geological Survey put it at 7.5. The quake hit at a depth of 15.5km off the eastern coast of Taiwan at 7:58 am, according to Taiwan’s central weather administration.

#WATCH | An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 hit Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

(Source: Reuters) pic.twitter.com/SkHBHrluaZ

— ANI (@ANI) April 3, 2024

🚨🕖 Aftershocks felt across #Taiwan following the 7.2 magnitude quake at 07:58 near Hualien County, 25 km SSE, depth of 15.5 km 🌊🇹🇼. Stay vigilant and safe! #TaiwanEarthquake pic.twitter.com/dQ40O7fRMX

— TVBS World Taiwan (@tvbsworldtaiwan) April 3, 2024

Taiwan’s defence ministry said that the army immediately targeted various units and combat areas to conduct inventory and confirm whether there were any disaster damage. Preliminary understanding is that there are disasters such as tilting of residential buildings, it said. “The second combat area has dispatched disaster relief troops and will cooperate with the rescue team without waiting for orders, hoping to minimise the damage,” Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said.

It also pointed out that after the earthquake, the ministry established a response centre to “grasp the latest situation in real time, cooperate with the needs of local governments, and deploy troops appropriately to assist to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property.”

Philippines, Japan warn of tsunami

Meanwhile, Philippines warned of tsunami and ordered evacuation of coastal areas in several provinces following the quake, urging residents to move to higher ground. “The people in the coastal areas of the following provinces are strongly advised to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move farther inland,” the state seismology institute said in an advisory for 23 provinces where it said “high tsunami waves” were expected.

The Philippines Seismology Agency also issued a warning for residents in coastal areas of several provinces,

Japan has also issued a tsunami alert for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa. The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) after the quake hit at 7:58 am. It later said the first wave of the tsunami was already believed to have arrived on the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands. Meanwhile, the main airport in Japan’s Okinawa suspended flights after tsunami alert.

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