Updated April 3rd, 2024 at 13:44 IST

Taiwan Earthquake: Tsunami Threat in Japan, Hawaii and Philippines Recedes

Taiwan, situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is prone to earthquakes due to its location on a tectonic belt where the majority of seismic activity occurs.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
7.5 magnitude earthquake jolts Taiwan, the strongest one in 25 years. | Image:AP
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Taiwan experienced its most powerful earthquake in 25 years, causing widespread devastation and triggering tsunami warnings across the region. The above-7 magnitude tremor struck on Wednesday, claiming at least seven lives and injuring over 700 people.

The earthquake, centered in the eastern part of the island, shook buildings violently, causing some to collapse and leading to landslides in affected areas. Dozens of buildings in the city of Hualien were among those that crumbled under the force of the quake. Among the casualties were three hikers and one engineering worker who were struck by falling rocks while on a trail in Hualien County. Rescue efforts were underway to free at least 77 individuals believed to be trapped under rubble or in need of assistance.

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Here is what you need to know

Despite Taiwan's sophisticated earthquake alert system, which typically provides warnings in advance, no such alert was issued before the quake struck.

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Following the earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued for Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines. However, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii later announced that the threat had passed without causing significant damage or casualties.

In Japan, tsunami advisories were lifted after earlier evacuations were ordered for coastal areas, including Okinawa Island. Similarly, the Philippine seismology agency cancelled its alert after initially warning of potential high tsunami waves.

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Why is Taiwan so prone to earthquakes?

Taiwan, situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is prone to earthquakes due to its location on a tectonic belt where the majority of seismic activity occurs. Despite its vulnerability, the island has implemented strict building regulations and disaster preparedness programs to mitigate the impact of such natural disasters.

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As Taiwan grapples with the aftermath of this powerful earthquake, neighbouring countries in the region remain vigilant for any potential aftershocks or further seismic activity in the coming days.

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Published April 3rd, 2024 at 13:44 IST