Tsunami alert issued after major quake strikes off Taiwan | Earthquakes News


Weather officials urge residents in Taiwan’s southeastern areas to stay away from the coastline.

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s southeastern coast on Sunday prompting tsunami warnings, with at least one building collapse and train cars derailed.

The quake hit at 2:44pm (06:44 GMT) about 50km (30 miles) north of the city of Taitung at a depth of 10 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

A two-story residential building and a convenience store collapsed near the epicentre and rescue work was under way, according to a local media report.

Video posted by Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency showed panicked residents running towards the building, which had caved in on itself and sent up a thick cloud of dust.

The Taiwan Railways Administration said three carriages came off the rails at Dongli station in eastern Taiwan after part of the platform canopy collapsed, and the roughly 20 passengers aboard were evacuated.

The shaking was felt at the north end of the island in the capital, Taipei. The temblor’s initial strength was given as 7.2-magnitude, but USGS later downgraded it to 6.9.

A 6.6 magnitude quake hit the same region on Saturday and there have been multiple tremors since with Sunday’s the strongest by far.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory to remote islands near Taiwan. Waves as high as 1 metre (3 feet) were expected to arrive around 4:10pm (07:00 GMT).

The US Tsunami Warning Centre also sent a warning saying hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 300km (190 miles) of the epicentre along the coast.

The islands are about 2,000km (1,200 miles) southwest of Tokyo. Weather officials urged residents in those areas to stay away from the coastline.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates.

More than 100 people were killed in a quake in southern Taiwan in 2016, while a 7.3-magnitude temblor killed more than 2,000 people in 1999.

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