Strong 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan, tsunami warnings issued

Strong 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan, tsunami warnings issued
Strong 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan, tsunami warnings issued
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TAIPEI –

An earthquake off the shore of Taiwan with a magnitude of 7.7 rocked Taipei, the capital, on Wednesday morning, knocking out power in several parts of the city and sparking a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines.

The quake was “the strongest in 25 years,” the director of Taipei’s Seismology Center said.

“The earthquake is close to land and it’s shallow. It’s felt all over Taiwan and offshore islands … it’s the strongest in 25 years since the (1999) earthquake,” Wu Chien-fu told reporters, referring to a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in September 1999 that killed 2,400 people.

Television stations in Taiwan showed footage of some collapsed buildings in the eastern county of Hualien, near the quake’s epicenter, and media reported some people were trapped.

The quake could be felt as far as Shanghai, according to a Reuters witness.

The epicenter was just off the coast of Hualien, in waters off the eastern coastline of Taiwan Island, the Taiwan central weather administration said.

Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas of the southern prefecture of Okinawa. Tsunami waves of up to 3 meters were initially forecast to reach large areas of Japan’s southwestern coast, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

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

The earthquake 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 and the city’s MRT was up and running soon after.

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

Wang / via REUTERS

The article is in Romanian

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