Devastating 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan, Prompting Tsunami Warning

Wed, Apr 3, 2024 1:25 PM on Latest, International,

On Wednesday, a strong earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale occurred off the eastern coast of Taiwan. Japan's meteorological agency has issued an initial warning of a potential tsunami affecting Taiwan, China, Japan, and the Philippines due to the earthquake. The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the earthquake's epicenter was approximately 18 kilometers from Taiwan's Hualien city.

Taiwanese authorities noted this earthquake as the most powerful to hit the region in 25 years. Some areas in China's southeastern Fujian province also experienced tremors from the earthquake. Officials have recorded nine aftershocks of magnitude 4 or higher since the initial earthquake. A damage assessment is underway. Local media have broadcasted visuals of collapsed residential buildings and ongoing rescue efforts in homes and schools.

Landslides in mountainous areas were triggered by the earthquake in Taiwan. Initially, the meteorological agency estimated potential tsunami waves up to 3 meters high in southwestern Japan but later revised it, stating no significant tsunami risk. Government media in southeastern Fujian province reported feeling the earthquake. In September 1999, Taiwan was struck by a devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake, resulting in the loss of 2,400 lives.