A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Taiwan on Sunday, according to the United States Institute of Geological Studies (USGC). In the process, Japan issued a tsunami warning, which has since been lifted.
The epicenter of the earthquake, which occurred at 8:44 a.m. French time, was located about 50 km north of the city of Taitung, at a depth of 10 km, the USGC said.
At least one building has collapsed in the town of Yuli, according to Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency. Video released by the agency shows panicked residents running towards the building, which collapsed in on itself in a thick cloud of dust. Tremors were also felt in the capital Taipei, noted an AFP journalist.
Derailment of a train
Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) reported a train derailment at Hualien Station after a concrete block fell off during the earthquake.
Photos published by the Taiwanese agency show six train carriages leaning in the station. TRA, which specified that twenty passengers were on board, did not report any injuries.
The quake was also felt in the capital Taipei and the southwest city of Kaohsiung.
On social networks, residents have posted videos of ceiling lights and oscillating tables. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen urged people to be vigilant for the risk of aftershocks.
The day before, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake had hit the same area and several tremors followed. That of this Sunday is however by far the strongest.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami warning for islands near Taiwan. Waves up to one meter high are expected in the next few hours.
Taiwan and its surroundings are regularly hit by earthquakes due to their location near the junction between two tectonic plates.
The island is in a region of intense seismic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”. The deadliest earthquake ever recorded in Taiwan, with a magnitude of 7.6, occurred in September 1999 and killed more than 2,400 people.
Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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