UPDATE – Collapsed buildings after a strong earthquake in eastern Taiwan / People trapped in collapsed buildings / 9 injured on a highway / Tsunami warning in Japan and the Philippines / Series of aftershocks / Power outages in Taipei – VIDEO

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A major earthquake was registered on Wednesday morning in the east of Taiwan, and a tsnuami alert was issued in Okinawa, in the southwest of the Japanese archipelago, but also in the Philippines. The earthquake occurred at 07:58 am local time (2:58 am, Romanian time), at a depth of 15.5 km, just off the east coast, according to the local Meteorological Administration. It was the strongest earthquake to hit the island in the last 25 years. Several people are trapped under the rubble, and 9 people were injured on a highway.


READ ALSO EARTHQUAKE IN TAIWAN – People stranded after 26 buildings collapsed / 9 injured on highway / Flights from Okinawa island resumed

UPDATE – All flights to Japan’s Naha airport on the island of Okinawa have been diverted following a tsunami alert, an airport spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

All employees and staff were evacuated to the third floor to await the impact of the tsunami, Hideaki Tsurudo said, adding that no waves had reached the airport during the time the alert was issued.

UPDATE – Taiwan’s electricity operator – Taipower – said that more than 87,000 people across the country were left without electricity, according to the Reuters news agency.

UPDATE – The Japanese Meteorological Agency warns the population to be alert for aftershocks of high intensity for about a week.

The same agency has meanwhile revised upward the magnitude of the earthquake in Taiwan to 7.7, from 7.5, according to Reuters.

Nearly 10,000 households in Taiwan remained without electricity, and restoration operations are underway.

THE EARTHQUAKE, FELT IN CHINA

UPDATE – The earthquake was also felt in Shanghai, in China, a Reuters witness said. Chinese state media said it was also felt in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in China’s Fujian province.

So far, the Taipei city administration has not received any damage reports.

Taiwan’s high-speed rail operator said no damage or injuries were reported, but said trains would be delayed as inspections were required.

Southern Taiwan Science Park, where giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co has a factory, said the companies were operating without impact.

UPDATE – Two more aftershocks, of 5.7 and 5.2 occurred at a shallow depth in the area where the initial earthquake occurred.

PHILIPPINES TSUNAMI ALERT

UPDATE – The Philippines’ seismological agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, saying they expected to experience “strong tsunami waves”. The population in coastal areas in several provinces were advised to evacuate immediately to higher ground or move further inland, reports The Guardian.

UPDATE – According to the USGS, a new aftershock occurred at a depth of 10 km, with a magnitude of 5.7, 37 minutes after the initial earthquake, followed 8 minutes later by another aftershock of 5.5.

COLLAPSED BUILDINGS

UPDATE – According to The Guardian, images shown on television show buildings that have collapsed in the city of Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan. There would also be people trapped in the rubble.

A FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE

UPDATE – Japan’s NHK TV reported that an initial 30cm tsunami had washed ashore on Yonaguni, a remote island just 110km from Taiwan, but warned that larger waves could follow.

ORIGINAL NEWS:

According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.5. The Japan Meteorological Agency described the earthquake as shallow, which could cause more damage.

The American Geological Institute USGS estimated the current magnitude at 7.4, and the depth of the earthquake at 34.8 km. The epicenter is located 18 km south of the city of Hualien in Taiwan, according to the US Geological Survey.

According to Reuters, the Central Meteorological Administration of Taiwan announced that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.2 and was felt on Wednesday morning in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The strong earthquake left several parts of the city without electricity, according to a Reuters witness.

Television images showed buildings in the city of Hualien, located in eastern Taiwan, shaken from their foundations. The earthquake occurred around 8:00 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m. Romanian time), just a few kilometers south of Hualian, in eastern Taiwan.

STRONG REPLY

The initial earthquake was followed 13 minutes later by another, with a magnitude of 6.5, produced at a depth of only 11.8 kilometers, according to the USGS.

Japan has issued an evacuation advisory for coastal areas near the southern prefecture of Okinawa. Public broadcaster NHK urged people to stay away from the coast and head for higher ground, while warnings in English and Japanese appeared on the screen.

A tsunami of up to 3 meters would reach the southwest coast of Japan around 10:00 am local time (04:00 Romanian time), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The warning was issued after the earthquake occurred in the ocean, near the coast.

Earthquakes are frequent in the region, one of the most seismically active areas in the world.

It’s been just four months since a 7.6-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami killed 244 people and caused extensive damage in the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture, on the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan.

On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast of Japan was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and a massive tsunami. These events triggered the world’s worst civilian nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster a quarter of a century earlier.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Taiwan in September 1999, killing an estimated 2,400 people in the worst natural disaster in the island’s history.

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: UPDATE Collapsed buildings strong earthquake eastern Taiwan People trapped collapsed buildings injured highway Tsunami warning Japan Philippines Series aftershocks Power outages Taipei VIDEO

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