Japan issues tsunami warnings for southern islands after earthquake hits near Taiwan

Japan issues tsunami warnings for southern islands after earthquake hits near Taiwan
Japan issues tsunami warnings for southern islands after earthquake hits near Taiwan
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TOKYO: A major 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Taiwan shortly before 9am Japanese local time (8am, Singapore time) on Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings for southern Japanese islands, Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

Tsunami waves as high as 3m were expected immediately for remote Japanese islands near Taiwan, including Miyakojima island, the agency said.

“Evacuate!” said a banner on national broadcaster NHK.

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

A 30cm tsunami reached Yonaguni Island at 9.18am, JMA said.

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

The strong quake knocked out power in several parts of the city, according to a Reuters witness.

“The earthquake may trigger a tsunami that will affect Taiwan. A tsunami warning is issued to remind people in coastal areas to be vigilant,” said an emergency message issued by authorities.

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.

On Mar 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 Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Japan issues tsunami warnings southern islands earthquake hits Taiwan

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