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HomeNews'Strongest in 25 years': Quake rocks Taiwan, collapsing buildings

‘Strongest in 25 years’: Quake rocks Taiwan, collapsing buildings

In a stark reminder of nature’s unpredictable fury, a powerful earthquake off the coast of Taiwan early Wednesday set off alarms across the region, including a significant

tsunami warning

for Japan’s Okinawa. The seismic event, rocking the entire island of Taiwan, led to the collapse of buildings and was felt strongly in the capital, Taipei.
Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency initially reported the quake’s magnitude at 7.2, contrasting with the US Geological Survey’s estimation of 7.5.

Regardless of the slight discrepancy, the impact was immediate and severe, particularly in Hualien on the eastern coast, where buildings were seen severely damaged, detached from their very foundations.
The

earthquake in Taiwan

was ‘strongest in 25 years’, a Taipei seismology official said.
The earthquake struck at 7:58am, not only causing significant structural damage but also triggering a series of aftershocks. The US Geological Survey later adjusted the magnitude to 7.4, highlighting the event’s intensity. AFP reporters on the island felt these major aftershocks, underscoring the widespread effect of the seismic activity.

In response to the quake, emergency messages from authorities warned of potential tsunamis that could affect Taiwan and the surrounding regions. “The earthquake may trigger a tsunami that will affect Taiwan. A tsunami warning is issued to remind people in coastal areas to be vigilant,” the emergency message stated, urging caution and immediate action where necessary.
Japan, no stranger to seismic activities, took prompt measures by issuing an evacuation advisory for Okinawa’s coastal areas. The Japan Meteorological Agency forecasted tsunami waves of up to 3 meters (approximately 9.8 feet), a significant threat to Japan’s southwestern coast. This warning followed the detection of a shallow earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 near Taiwan, which resulted in a 30 cm tsunami wave reaching Yonaguni Island at 9:18am (0018 GMT).

This sequence of natural disasters serves as a poignant reminder of the seismic vulnerabilities that both Japan and Taiwan face. Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active countries, accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. The memories of past tragedies, including the devastating quake on March 11, 2011, that led to a massive tsunami and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear crisis, loom large in the collective memory of the region.
(With inputs from agencies)