Friday , April 19 2024

7.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan, tsunami warning in Japan

Taiwan Earthquake, Taiwan, Tsunami Warnings, Japan, Earthquake News, Earthquake Today,Taiwan earthquake, Taiwan, Tsunami warnings, Japan, Earthquake news, Earthquake today

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck off Taiwan's eastern coast on Wednesday, scaring residents and putting authorities on high alert. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed the earthquake's intensity and described it as a “significant earthquake”, with its epicenter located in the Pacific Ocean about 25.0 kilometers south-southeast of Hualien County Hall.

According to the Seismology Center of Taiwan's Central News Agency, the depth of the earthquake was measured at 15.5 kilometers.

Tsunami warning issued across Japan

Japan's meteorological agency immediately issued a tsunami warning for remote Japanese islands, including Miyakojima Island, in the wake of the earthquake off the coast of Taiwan. Residents were warned to be prepared for waves up to three meters (10 ft) high, raising concerns for coastal communities in affected areas.

Alert throughout Taiwan

Reports of the earthquake's impact varied throughout Taiwan, with the intensity level being 5+ in Yilan County and Miaoli County and 5- in several northern and central areas, including Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Taichung City. Metro systems in major cities such as Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung were suspended due to the seismic event, disrupting commuters' daily routines.

In Japan, fear spread along coastal areas as officials warned of possible tsunami waves. Tsunami alerts were issued for the main island of Okinawa Prefecture, as well as the Miyakojima and Yaeyama areas of southwestern Japan. Residents were urged to immediately move to higher ground or safe places to ensure their safety.

Echoes of past tragedies

For many people in Taiwan, memories of past seismic disasters came alive again. Wu Chien-fu, director of the Seismology Center of the Taipei Central Weather Administration, noted the earthquake's significant impact, recalling it as the “strongest” since the devastating 1999 earthquake. This tragic event took the lives of thousands of people, serving as a stark reminder of the island's vulnerability to natural disasters.

“The earthquake is close to the ground and shallow,” said Wu Chien-fu, director of the seismology center of the Taipei Central Meteorological Administration. “It was felt throughout Taiwan and offshore islands.” “This is the most intense earthquake in 25 years after the (1999) earthquake,” he told reporters.

Increased vigilance amid uncertainty

As the situation unfolds, both Taiwan and Japan remain on high alert, preparing for possible shocks and assessing the extent of damage. With forecasters predicting tsunami waves up to three meters high, vigilance and precautionary measures are paramount to protect lives and minimize the impact of this natural disaster.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Taiwan in September 1999, killing about 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island's history.