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GreekReporter.comGreek News7.4 Earthquake Hits Taiwan

7.4 Earthquake Hits Taiwan

A major earthquake hit Taiwan and triggered tsunami warnings. Credit: public domain

A major earthquake hit Taiwan on Wednesday morning, triggering tsunami warnings for the island as well as parts of Japan, some of which were later retracted.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicenter 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 km.

Officials have confirmed at least four people have died while rescuers are pulling out people trapped in collapsed buildings.

Videos posted by Taiwan residents on social media show some of the damage.

In the eastern county of Hualien, near the epicenter of the quake, social media footage showed several collapsed buildings and residents helping trapped people escape through the window of a damaged apartment complex.

At a road intersection, a crowd of morning commuters on scooters and motorbikes watched as a multi-storey red building tilted sideways, a separate video showed.

Another video from Hualien captured a massive landslide coming down the mountain, with clouds of brown dust swallowing a section of the road and buildings nearby.

In the capital Taipei, in the north of the island, a video showed a subway car shaking violently, with passengers holding onto the handles tightly.

Tsunami warnings from Taiwan earthquake retracted

Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines have all canceled their tsunami warnings, whilst the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has said the threat to the United States has “largely passed”.

Tsunami waves were observed on the coasts of Taiwan and far southwestern Japanese islands after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan on Wednesday morning.

But there were no immediate reports of any major damage caused by these waves.

In Taiwan: Tsunami heights reached nearly half a meter, or 1.5 feet, in Chenggong, approximately 100 km (62 miles) south of the quake’s epicenter.

Observed tsunami heights are measured over open water and can reach significantly higher when they reach shore.

In Japan: A 0.3-meter wave impacted Okinawa Island, Naha airport spokesperson Hideaki Tsurodo told CNN, but no waves reached the airport and it was soon reopened.

In the Philippines: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said “no significant sea level disturbances” had been recorded since the earthquake.

“With this, any effects due to the tsunami warning have largely passed,” the institute said.
In the US: The threat of any tsunami risk has “largely passed”, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. The update issued by its warning center in Honolulu said the evaluation was “based on all available data.”

It added that minor sea level “fluctuations” of up to 30 centimeters above and below normal tide levels could continue “over the next few hours.”

The US Tsunami Warning Center also advised government agencies to “monitor conditions at the coast to determine if and when it is safe to resume normal activities.”

Tsunami waves less than 0.3 meters may be observed for the coasts of Guam, Indonesia, Northern Marianas, Palau, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and Yap, the center added.

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