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Earthquake hits Taiwan, US issues tsunami warning


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US authorities have issued a tsunami warning after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Taiwan, with initial reports of shaking emerging in Taipei.

The country’s weather bureau said the strong earthquake could be felt throughout Taiwan.

This is the second earthquake in less than 24 hours in Taiwan after a 6.4-magnitude quake rocked the southeastern province of Taitung at around 9.41 pm on Saturday.

Taiwan authorities said that the shallow earthquake with a depth of 10 km hit on Sunday afternoon 50 km north of Taitung City, which was already hit after the shocks from the previous night.

Posting the first pictures of the damage caused by the quake, Taiwanese television stations said a two-story low-rise apartment building had collapsed, and at least one train carriage had been dismantled at a station on the east coast.

It was not clear if there were any injuries.

Other videos posted on social media showed chandeliers and chairs moving violently at the time of the earthquake.

independent The video could not be verified immediately.

Another video clip in the aftermath of the disaster showed a white cloud of smoke filling the street from the collapsed building. Wire ropes and two-wheeled carts fell to the ground in the street as panicked people ran and screamed.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has also issued a tsunami warning of up to 1 meter (3 feet) high that could threaten many of Japan’s southern islands.

The tsunami could hit Yonaguni Island, Japan’s westernmost island about 110 kilometers (70 miles) east of Taiwan, at about 4.10 pm local time (8.10 am GMT), the federal agency said, thus affecting three nearby islands.

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Alerts have also been issued for the Miyakojima and Yayama prefectures of Okinawa Prefecture.

Officials urged residents who live near the coast to stay away from these areas. These islands are located about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) southwest of Tokyo.

The island nation’s meteorological agency predicted the quake was a magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale – still greater than Saturday’s.

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