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Taiwan and Japan on tsunami alert after 7.5 magnitude earthquake

Taiwan and Japan on tsunami alert after 7.5 magnitude earthquake
Taiwan and Japan on tsunami alert after 7.5 magnitude earthquake


TAIPEI — A 7.4 magnitude earthquake, followed by several strong aftershocks, struck off the east coast of Taiwan Wednesday morning, prompting tsunami warnings in Taiwan and Japan.

The earthquake, which the U.S. Geological Survey said measured 7.4 in magnitude, hit about 15 miles south of Hualien county just before 8 a.m. local time, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration. It was the largest earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years, and was felt in parts of Japan and China too.

In Taiwan, officials issued a tsunami warning for the coastal regions of the island. The quake left commuters stranded in train cars as the high speed rail and metro system were paused. Authorities sent an alert to residents that they should seek cover nearby, crouch down and “stay clam.”

Japanese officials warned residents in the southwestern Okinawa island chain to evacuate to higher ground.

On Yonaguni, one of the Okinawa islands, an 11-inch tall tsunami hit 20 minutes after the initial quake, and officials expect more tsunamis to continue and become more intense.

The initial tsunamis from a major Japanese earthquake in March 2011 similarly began at a few dozen inches and grew to over 30 feet, leading to a nuclear meltdown and triggered one of the biggest nuclear disasters in history.

A tsunami as high as 10 feet is may hit the main Okinawa island, local officials warned.

Inuma reported from Tokyo.



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