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Video: Multiple Buildings Collapse in Taiwan Following Pair of Massive 7.5 Earthquakes

Aftershocks will continue to affect the island over the next three to four days following the 7.4 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday morning.



Update: The Philippines and Japan have lifted their tsunami warnings, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated that the threat to the United States has diminished. Tsunami waves were spotted along the shores of Taiwan and the distant southwestern Japanese islands following a 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, a significant earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan, as reported by the US Geological Survey. This triggered tsunami warnings for both Taiwan and southern Japan.

The earthquake’s epicenter was approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Hualien city. Following the quake, Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration issued a tsunami alert, although not all residents received it, advising those in the northern coastal area to evacuate to higher ground.

Similarly, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands, cautioning of waves expected to reach up to 3 meters in height imminently.

The Central Weather Administration of Taiwan predicts that aftershocks will continue to affect the island over the next three to four days following the 7.4 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday morning. A spokesperson for the administration mentioned in a news conference that these aftershocks might reach magnitudes of 6.5 to 7.0.

According to a spokesperson from Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration, the earthquake that hit Taiwan on Wednesday is the most powerful to affect the island in 25 years. The CWA indicates that the last significant earthquake to strike Taiwan was a 7.3 magnitude quake, commonly referred to as the Jiji earthquake, which occurred in 1999.

Preliminary reports indicate damage from the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported tilted houses and structural damage in Hualien County. Military troops have been deployed for disaster relief efforts to mitigate further damage. Schools and work have been suspended due to ongoing aftershocks.

Japan Airlines announced the suspension of all flights from the Okinawa and Kagoshima regions due to tsunami warnings. Flights en route to these areas with tsunami warnings have been redirected.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency has downgraded the tsunami warning for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands to an advisory. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported at least nine instances of rockfalls and landslides on the Suhua Highway, resulting in its closure.

Additionally, a highway linking the west and east coasts of Taiwan sustained damage from rockfall, causing injuries to nine people and hitting at least 12 cars, as reported by TVBS.