7.2-Magnitude Earthquake Hit Taiwan, Tsunami Warning Issued

Taipei, A violent earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Taiwan on Wednesday, prompting the authorities of Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines to warn residents of coastal areas of the danger of a tsunami resulting from the earthquake. The Taiwan Central Weather Bureau said that the epicenter of the earthquake occurred 25 km southeast of Hualien City in eastern Taiwan, at a depth of 15.5 For its part, the US Geological Survey estimated the strength of the earthquake at 7.4 degrees, while the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated its strength at 7.5 degrees. According to local media, high-speed train service in Taiwan has been suspended. Mass rapid transit service has also been suspended in major cities, including Taipei. Following the earthquake, authorities in Taiwan issued a warning of the risk of a tsunami in coastal areas. The authorities said in a warning message received by residents on their mobile phones that "the earthquake may lead to a tsunami that will affect Taiwan". In Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for the southwestern islands near Taiwan. Meanwhile, in Manila, the Philippine authorities issued a warning of the risk of "high tsunami waves", and ordered residents of many coastal areas to evacuate. Taiwan, which is located on the border between the Eurasian plate and the Philippine Sea plate, was exposed to a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that left more than 2,400 dead in Sept. 1999. Source: Qatar News Agency