Strong earthquake hits Taiwan with tsunami alert triggered in Japan

Strong earthquake hits Taiwan with tsunami alert triggered in Japan
Strong earthquake hits Taiwan with tsunami alert triggered in Japan

A tsunami of about 0.3 meters (1ft) has already reached Yonaguni Island, in south-west Japan.

An alert was issued for the coastal areas of Japan near the southern prefecture of Okinawa, with residents told to leave urgently.

‘Evacuate! Don’t stop. Don’t go back’

A banner on Japanese national broadcaster NHK told viewers to “Evacuate!”

“Tsunami is coming. Please evacuate immediately,” an anchor on NHK said. “Don’t stop. Don’t go back.”

The Philippines has also issued a tsunami warning to residents on northern coast.

Japan’s meteorological agency described the earthquake as very shallow, which can cause significant damage.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake’s epicenter was 11 miles (18km) south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of about 21 miles.

Live TV footage from the Okinawa region’s ports, including Naha, showed vessels heading out to sea, possibly in efforts to protect their ships.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes because the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates.

A 7.6-magnitude jolt hit Taiwan in September 1999, killing around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s history.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

The country was rocked by its deadliest quake in eight years on New Year’s Day when a 7.6-magnitude quake struck in Ishikawa prefecture, on the western coast. More than 230 people died in the quake that left 44,000 homes fully or partially destroyed.

On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest quake in Japan on record, and a massive tsunami. Those events triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chornobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated

The article is in Dutch

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