Magnitude-7.5 earthquake hits Taiwan, triggering tsunami warning in Japan, Philippines

Magnitude-7.5 earthquake hits Taiwan, triggering tsunami warning in Japan, Philippines
Magnitude-7.5 earthquake hits Taiwan, triggering tsunami warning in Japan, Philippines
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A tsunami warning has been issued for south-western Japan and the Philippines after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 struck in the ocean near Taiwan.

The earthquake hit at 7:58am (local time) at a depth of 15.5 kilometers, just off the east coast of Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration.

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

Local television stations in Taiwan are showing footage of collapsed buildings in Hualien, near the epicenter and reporting that some people are trapped.

A local Taiwan television station has captured footage of damaged buildings in Hualien County. (Supplied: TVBS World Taiwan)

The Japanese Meteorological Agency says the earthquake struck at a very shallow depth, making the impact worse.

The tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas near the southern prefecture of Okinawa, National broadcaster NHK said.

The tsunami is expected to be up to 3 meters.

Flights were suspended at the main airport in Okinawa from 9:25 am (local time) as a precautionary measure, a transport ministry official stationed at Naha Airport said.

He added that “incoming flights need to divert”.

A 30 centimeter wave reached Yonaguni Island at 9:18am.

The Philippines’ seismology agency issued a tsunami warning, with coastal areas fronting the Pacific Ocean expected to experience “high tsunami waves”.

People in the coastal areas in several provinces were advised to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move further inland, the advisory read.

AFP reported that powerful aftershocks hit Taiwan and were felt by the agency’s reporters.

The Philippines Seismology Agency also issued a warning for residents in coastal areas of several provinces, urging them to evacuate to higher ground.

The quake was felt in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in China’s Fujian province, according to Chinese state media.

The Taipei city government has not received any reports of damage.

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