Taiwan earthquake: Tsunami warnings issued after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the east coast

TVBS/AP

A partially collapsed building in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, after a strong earthquake on April 3, 2024.


Taipei, Taiwan
CNN

An earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan The US Geological Survey reported that the eastern coast of the country on Wednesday led to the issuance of tsunami warnings for the island and southern Japan.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located about 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien City. The tremors were felt across the island, including CNN staff in Taipei.

Taiwan's Ministry of Defense said initial reports emerged of damage, with homes in Hualien County tilted.

Military personnel were sent to assist with disaster relief, and schools and workplaces suspended operations as aftershocks struck the island.

Footage from Reuters showed several collapsed buildings in Hualien and residents helping trapped people escape through the window of a destroyed apartment complex.

A video broadcast by CNN affiliate TVBS showed how Taiwanese captured the moment the tremors struck inside their homes and businesses. One clip showed power lines swaying violently over a street, another saw chandeliers shaking in a restaurant, while a third clip showed water leaking from an aquarium.

Watch this interactive content on CNN.com

Taiwan's Central Meteorological Administration issued a tsunami warning following the earthquake. The CWA alert advised residents to evacuate to higher ground as the tsunami was expected to affect the northern coastal area of ​​the island.

The Japan Meteorological Agency also issued a tsunami warning for the southern islands of Miyakojima and Okinawa. Warning of waves reaching heights of up to 3 metres (almost 10 feet) high. The agency said a wave measuring 30 centimeters (about one foot) high hit Okinawa.

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All flights from Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures have been suspended following tsunami warnings in the area, according to Japan Airlines.

TVBS/AP

A partially collapsed building in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on April 3, 2024.

The earthquake is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years, according to a spokesman for the Central Weather Administration. In 1999, A 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck 93 miles (150 kilometers) south of Taipei, killing 2,400 people and injuring 10,000.

Taiwan is located on Pacific Ring of Firewhich extends around the edge of the Pacific Ocean and causes massive seismic and volcanic activity from Indonesia to Chile.

The island is regularly exposed to earthquakes. A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck a nearby area Hualien in 2018killing at least one 17 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured.

Hualien County is home to about 300,000 people and is located near the Taroko Valley, a popular tourist destination.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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