Record-breaking Earthquake Hits Taiwan, Japan – Tsunami Alert Sounds

Earthquake Japan Tokyo

A major 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s east on Wednesday morning, marking the strongest seismic activity the island has experienced in 25 years. The quake’s epicenter was located 18 kilometers south of Taiwan’s Hualien City, at a depth of 34.8 km, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake was felt across Taiwan, with reports of strong shaking sensations from the southern Pingtung county to the north in Taipei. Aftershocks, including a 6.5-magnitude earthquake near Hualien, were also felt in Taipei.

In response to the earthquake, Taiwan authorities issued a tsunami warning via text message, urging people in coastal areas to be vigilant and take strict precautions against potential sudden surges in waves.

The earthquake’s impact was not limited to Taiwan. Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a warning for tsunami waves as high as three meters for remote Japanese islands in the region, including Miyakojima island. Similarly, the Philippines issued a tsunami warning and called for the evacuation of coastal areas.

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami warnings have prompted widespread concern and precautionary measures. In Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, the metro briefly stopped running, and residents were warned to check for gas leaks. In Japan, national broadcaster NHK urged immediate evacuation, and live TV footage showed vessels in the Okinawa region’s ports heading out to sea, possibly in efforts to protect their ships. Flights were also suspended at Okinawa’s main airport as a precautionary measure.

Wu Chien-fu, director of Taipei’s Central Weather Administration’s Seismology Center, warned that authorities are not ruling out the possibility of earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.5 to 7 occurring in the next three days, which will be relatively close to the land. He urged the public to pay attention to relevant warnings and messages and be prepared for earthquake evacuation.

The earthquake serves as a stark reminder of the seismic activity in the region. Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates, while nearby Japan experiences around 1,500 jolts every year. The severity of tsunamis also depends upon multiple factors, including the depth of the earthquake’s epicenter below the Earth’s surface and its location.

This recent earthquake follows Japan’s major quake on New Year’s Day this year, when a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit Noto Peninsula and killed more than 230 people, many of them when older buildings collapsed. Japan’s biggest earthquake on record was a massive 9.0-magnitude undersea jolt in March 2011 off Japan’s northeast coast, which triggered a tsunami that left around 18,500 people dead or missing and caused the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

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