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Deadly earthquake strikes Taiwan’s East Coast, Triggering Tsunami Warnings in Japan and Philippines

One person died and more than 50 others injured due to 7.2 magnitude earthquake striking Taiwan’s east coast, as reported by Reuters on Wednesday, citing Taiwan’s fire department.

Following a powerful earthquake in Taiwan, a tsunami warning initially issued for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands in Japan has been downgraded from a warning to an advisory, according to CNN, citing Japan’s Meteorological Agency.

The Philippines has also issued a tsunami warning, urging residents in coastal areas across the provinces of Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Isabela to “strongly advised to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move further inland,” as stated in the advisory. CNN reported that coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean are expected to witness “high tsunami waves,” with the first waves predicted to hit between 8:33 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. local time on Wednesday (8:33 p.m. to 10:33 p.m. ET on Tuesday).

Boat owners in harbors, estuaries, or shallow coastal waters have also been instructed to secure their boats and move away from the waterfront. Boats already at sea are advised to remain offshore in deep waters until further notice, the advisory mentioned.

In the aftermath of the powerful earthquake in Taiwan, which rattled the eastern shores, all flights to Japan’s Naha Airport on Okinawa island have been diverted, CNN reported citing the airport’s spokesperson.

As a precautionary measure against potential tsunami impacts, all airport staff and personnel have evacuated to the third floor of the airport building, said Hideaki Tsurudo, the airport spokesperson, adding that no waves have reached the airport during the warning period.

Furthermore, all flights from Japan’s Okinawa and Kagoshima regions have been halted following the tsunami warnings in the area, according to Japan Airlines.

Flights bound for areas under tsunami warnings have been rerouted, the airline noted.

The earthquake in Taiwan triggered tsunami alerts in southern Japan.

The quake’s epicenter was situated in the Pacific Ocean, about 25.0 kilometers south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km, as reported by Taiwan’s Seismology Center, Central News Agency stated.

Intensity levels of 5+ were reported in Yilan County in the northeast and in Miaoli County in the north, while 5- was observed in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, and Hsinchu County in the north, as well as Taichung City, Changhua County, and Nantou County in central Taiwan, according to the Central Weather Agency.

The earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.5, occurred just before 9 a.m., prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to identify the epicenter near Taiwan, NHK reported.

Expected tsunami arrival times were forecasted for 9:30 a.m. in the Miyakojima-Yaeyama region and 10 a.m. in the Okinawa main island region.

In response, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued alerts for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands, warning residents about imminent waves reaching heights of up to 3 meters, NHK reported.


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