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Major earthquake triggers tsunami warnings in Taiwan, Japan

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NEW DELHI: In a harrowing sequence of natural disasters,

Japan

and Taiwan have been hit by powerful earthquakes, leading to widespread concern and prompt action from authorities. Japan has issued an evacuation advisory for coastal areas of Okinawa following a potent

earthquake

that also affected Taiwan, bringing with it the threat of tsunamis reaching up to three meters in height.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) sounded alarms after detecting a preliminary magnitude 7.5 earthquake near Taiwan, shallow enough to significantly impact the ocean’s surface and potentially trigger devastating

tsunami

waves. The first of these waves, measuring 30 cm, made landfall on Yonaguni Island at 9:18am (0018 GMT), confirming fears and emphasizing the urgency of the advisory.
This string of seismic events underscores Japan’s vulnerability to earthquakes, a country that experiences about one-fifth of the world’s quakes of magnitude 6 or greater. The reminder is stark, coming on the heels of Japan’s deadliest quake in eight years this past New Year’s Day, which claimed over 230 lives in Ishikawa prefecture.
March 11, 2011, remains a grim milestone in Japan’s history, marking the date of the strongest recorded quake in the country, leading to a massive tsunami and the subsequent nuclear crisis at Fukushima, the worst of its kind since Chornobyl.

Taiwan, too, felt the force of nature’s fury as buildings in Hualien city were seen collapsing, and the capital, Taipei, experienced the quake’s tremors. Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency reported a magnitude of 7.2, slightly differing from the US Geological Survey’s 7.5. This discrepancy does little to mitigate the immediate danger posed by the quake and the resulting tsunami, with Japanese authorities not taking any chances for the safety of those in Okinawa’s coastal regions.
(With inputs from agencies)

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