7.4-magnitude earthquake hits near Taiwan, rocking the island and triggering tsunami warnings

7.4-magnitude earthquake hits near Taiwan, rocking the island and triggering tsunami warnings
7.4-magnitude earthquake hits near Taiwan, rocking the island and triggering tsunami warnings
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An earthquake with a strong magnitude of 7.4 struck off eastern Taiwan Wednesday morning local time, triggering tsunami warnings.

The earthquake struck about 11 miles from Hualien City, Taiwan, according to the United States Geological Survey, rocking the entire island and collapsing buildings. It was followed by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake.

The US Tsunami Warning System issued a warning of possible hazardous tsunami waves possible for coasts within 300 km (about 186 miles) from the earthquake’s epicenter, saying China, Taiwan and Japan may be affected.

Japan also issued a tsunami alert for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa, and Japan’s meteorological agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters (9.8 feet). About half an hour later, it said the first wave of the tsunami was already believed to have arrived on the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

Television showed buildings in Taiwan’s eastern city of Hualien shaking off their foundations. The quake could also be felt in the capital Taipei.

This is a breaking news update. Please check back for developments.

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