Taiwan earthquake LIVE Updates: : Philippines cancels tsunami warning; 4 dead

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 hit Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, on Wednesday morning, the Taiwan central weather administration said.

A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday. (TVBS via AP)(AP)

The strong quake knocked out power in several parts of the city, according to a Reuters witness. Soon after the earthquake hit, a tsunami alert was issued in Japan.

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It is not yet clear whether the earthquake caused any damage or loss of life in Taiwan yet. Japan’s meteorological agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters (9.8 feet).

The country also issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas near the southern prefecture of Okinawa soon after the strong earthquake triggered a tsunami warning.

Television showed buildings in the eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations. Islandwide train service was suspended, as was subway service in Taipei. The quake struck at 7:58 a.m. on the other side of the island from the capital, but was strong enough to knock items off shelves in the city.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency gave the magnitude as 7.2 while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.5. The depth was about 35 kilometers (21 miles).

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa. A wave of 30 centimeters (about 1 feet) was detected on the coast of Yonaguni island about 15 minutes after the quake struck. JAMA said waves likely also hit the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

Taiwan earthquake: Top updates

Japan issued a tsunami warning of up to 3 meters soon after the earthquake in Taiwan hit.

The earthquake that hit Taiwan’s east on Wednesday morning was “the strongest in 25 years”, said the director of Taipei’s Seismology Centre.

The Philippines warned of “high tsunami waves” and called for the evacuation of coastal areas Wednesday after a 7.4-magnitude quake in Taiwan.

“The people in the coastal areas of the following provinces are strongly advised to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move farther inland,” the state seismology institute said in an advisory for 23 provinces where it said “high tsunami waves” were expected to hit.

Coastal areas in 23 provinces from the north to the south of the archipelago nation, but not the capital Manila, “are expected to experience high tsunami waves” based on tsunami wave models, the tsunami warning in Philippines added.

Flights were suspended at the main airport in Japan’s southern region of Okinawa on Wednesday due to a tsunami alert triggered by an earthquake in Taiwan, a government official said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Wednesday that the tsunami threat from a major earthquake in Taiwan “has now passed”.

The quake hit just before 8:00 am local time (0000 GMT) and had a magnitude of 7.4 according to the US Geological Survey, triggering tsunami warnings in Taiwan, southern Japan and the Philippines.

Taiwan’s fire department said on Wednesday that so far one person had died and more than 50 were injured after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island’s east coast.

The Philippines cancelled a tsunami warning in the country’s north on Wednesday, hours after a major earthquake struck neighbouring Taiwan.

Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in a quarter century has killed at least four people.

The national fire agency said four people died in Hualien County. Hualien was the epicenter of the quake that struck around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

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