Urgent warning over possible tsunami hitting Japan after 7.7 magnitude earthquake

Urgent warning over possible tsunami hitting Japan after 7.7 magnitude earthquake
Urgent warning over possible tsunami hitting Japan after 7.7 magnitude earthquake
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A POWERFUL earthquake has hit Taiwan sparking fears of a three-meter-high tsunami in Japan following the 7.7 magnitude tremor.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued the warning for the areas around Okinawa, Miyakojima and Yaeyama Islands.

Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the warning for the areas around Okinawa Island, Miyakojima Island and Yaeyama IslandCredit: Alamy
A partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern TaiwanCredit: AP
Images shared on social media seemed to suggest the earthquake had caused mass landslidesCredit: X (formerly Twitter)
Locals were warned to evacuate ahead of three-meter high waves

“Tsunami waves are approaching the coasts. Evacuate as quickly as possible. Waves can hit repeatedly. Continue to evacuate until all warnings are lifted,” the meteorological agency said.

People are reportedly trapped in buildings after the earthquake sent buildings tipping off their foundations.

The quake, described as “very shallow”, is 18km south of Taiwan’s Hualien city, according to the US Geological Survey.

JMA forecast a tsunami of up to three meters (9.8 feet) after the earthquake hit at 7.58am local time.

WAVES BEGIN

About half an hour later, it said the first wave of the tsunami was already believed to have arrived on the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

A wave of 30 cm was detected on the coast of Yonaguni island about 15 minutes after the earthquake struck.

JAMA said waves are likely to also hit the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

The earthquake was felt across the island, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration agency.

It measured 7.7 at the epicenter and around four at its weakest points.

Some 13 people were injured, two seriously, in 250 “earthquake related incidents”, according to local reports.

Wu Chien Fu, the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre, 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.”

In September 1999, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, killing 2,400 people.

SHOCK IMAGES

Television showed buildings in Taiwan’s eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations. The earthquake could be felt in the capital Taipei.

Photographs show how the earthquake triggered massive landslides and caused buildings to crumble.

The islandwide train service was suspended, as was the subway service in Taipei.

And flights to Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Miyako airports in Japan are preparing to return to origin as the airports were ordered to evacuate.

The earthquake struck on the other side of the island from the capital, but was strong enough to knock items off shelves in the city.

There have been 78 disaster reports so far, according to the New Taipei City Fire Department.

A warehouse in Zhonghe tilted, trapping people inside, but they were immediately rescued. Elsewhere people were trapped in elevators and reported gas leaks.

The earthquake off the coast of southwestern Japan has caused power outages in parts of Taiwan.

And a Tsunami warning has been issued in the Philippines.

In January more than 150 powerful tremors had plagued central Japan since New Year’s Day – leaving 48 dead, homes destroyed and many without power and stockpiling food.

Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world due to its position in the “Pacific Ring of Fire” where several tectonic plates meet and grind against each other.

Honshu, Japan’s main island and the epicenter of today’s earthquakes, lies at the intersection between Eurasian, Philippine and North American plates.

The country is haunted by the memory of a massive 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake off northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, which triggered a tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people.

New Year’s Day was the first time since that fateful day that Japan issued a major tsunami warning.

Read more on the Irish Sun

The 2011 tsunami also sent three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing Japan’s worst post-war disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

In March 2022, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima shook large areas of eastern Japan, killing three people.

Photographs show how the earthquake triggered massive landslides and caused buildings to crumbleCredit: X (formerly Twitter)
Residents are trapped inside one apartment block that collapsed in the earthquakeCredit: news.ebc.net.tw
One local shared an image of a battered car online with the caption ‘the earthquake in Taiwan shook quite a bit’Credit: X (formerly Twitter)
Tropical paradise Miyako island, Okinawa. Waves up to three meters tall are expectedCredit: Getty

The article is in Romanian

Tags: Urgent warning tsunami hitting Japan magnitude earthquake

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