Earth’s Fury: Massive Quake Shatters Taiwan, Unleashing Tsunami on Japan

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Map depicting epicenter of earthquake in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan – A powerful earthquake shook the entire island of Taiwan on Wednesday morning, leaving behind a trail of damage and triggering a tsunami alert for neighboring Japan.

  • The quake, with a magnitude of 7.4 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, struck at approximately 7:58 a.m.
  • The epicenter was located about 18 kilometers south-southwest of Hualien, with a depth of 35 kilometers.
  • Initial reports indicated collapsed buildings in the southern city of Hualien.
  • The earthquake was felt across Taiwan, including in the capital, Taipei, where tiles fell from older buildings.

Building Collapses and Tsunami Alert

In Hualien, a five-story building sustained severe damage, with its first floor collapsing and the remaining structure leaning at a precarious 45-degree angle. The extent of injuries and fatalities is still being assessed.

The tsunami alert issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency predicted waves of up to 3 meters for the Okinawa island group. A wave approximately 30 centimeters high was recorded on Yonaguni island.

However, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ruled out any threat to Hawaii or Guam.

Aftershocks and Resumption of Daily Life

Aftershocks continued to rattle Taipei for an hour following the initial earthquake. Transportation services, including train and subway lines, were briefly suspended but quickly resumed.

Despite the damage and disruption, the capital city of Taipei is slowly returning to normalcy. Children have made their way to school, and the morning commute seems to have unfolded without major setbacks.

Taiwan, a Fault Line Hotspot

Taiwan is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of tectonic activity responsible for a significant portion of the world’s earthquakes. The last major earthquake in Taiwan occurred in 1999 and caused extensive damage.

Authorities in the region are urging residents to remain vigilant and to heed any evacuation orders or safety advisories.