Magnitude 7.2 tremor strikes; Japan tsunami alert issued

A powerful earthquake struck off Taiwan on Wednesday, rocking the entire island and collapsing buildings. Japan issued a tsunami alert for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa.

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 metres after the very shalow quake hit. 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.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency gave the magnitude as 7.2 while the US Geological Survey put it at 7.5.

Taiwanese television showed buildings in the eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations. The quake’s epicentre was located about 18 kilometres south of the city of Hualien.

The quake came at 7.58am (10.58 AEDT) and could be felt in the capital Taipei. It was felt also in Japan and China’s Fujian province.

The strong quake knocked out power in several parts of the city, according to a Reuters witness.

Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas of the southern prefecture of Okinawa after the Taiwan quake triggered a tsunami warning.

Tsunami waves of up to 3 metres were expected to reach large areas of Japan’s south-western coast, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

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  • Source of information and images “brisbanetimes”

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