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7.5-magnitude earthquake hits near Taiwan: Japan agency

April 3, 2024 - 09:45 By AFP
In this image taken from a video footage, a partially collapsed building is seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday. A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands. (TVBS)

A major 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Taiwan shortly before 9:00 am Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings for southern Japanese islands, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

Tsunami waves as high as three metres (10 feet) were expected immediately for remote Japanese islands near Taiwan, including Miyakojima island, the agency said.

"Evacuate!" said a banner on national broadcaster NHK.

"Tsunami is coming. Please evacuate immediately," an anchor on NHK said. "Do not stop. Do not go back."

The United States Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicentre 18 kilometres south of Taiwan's Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 km. (AFP)