China’s Ministry of Natural resources issues tsunami level I alert, 7.4-magnitude quake reported in Taiwan

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3rd April 2024 – (Taipei) The National Early Warning Information Centre announced that the Tsunami Early Warning Center of the Ministry of Natural Resources has issued a Tsunami Level I (Red) alert. At 7.58am Hong Kong time today, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake occurred in the Taiwan Strait (23.85°N, 121.6°E), with a depth of 9 kilometres. On the same day, Guangzhou Railway announced temporary closures of certain railway lines.

Based on preliminary seismic parameters, the Tsunami Early Warning Center of the Ministry of Natural Resources predicts that the earthquake may trigger localized tsunamis around the epicentre, causing disastrous impacts on specific areas along the Taipei East, Pingtung West, Pingtung East, Taitung South, Taitung North, Hualien, and Yilan coastlines.

The earthquake near Taiwan’s waters was felt in various cities, including Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Ningde, and Shanghai in China.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration (CWA) has issued also a tsunami warning following the earthquake. While not all residents received the alert, it cautioned about an imminent tsunami impact on the northern coastal area and advised residents to evacuate to higher ground.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has also issued a tsunami warning for Miyakojima and Okinawa islands, with waves of up to 3 meters expected.

Taiwan experienced several aftershocks, including a 6.5-magnitude tremor, according to the USGS.

Situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan is prone to frequent seismic and volcanic activities spanning from Indonesia to Chile.

The island has a history of being shaken by earthquakes. In 2018, a magnitude 6.2 quake near Hualien claimed the lives of at least 17 people and injured over 300 others. The most memorable earthquake in recent history, in 1999, resulted in the death of 2,400 individuals.

Hualien County, home to approximately 300,000 people and located near the popular tourist destination Taroko Gorge, was at the epicentre of Wednesday’s powerful 7.5-magnitude quake. The earthquake occurred 25 kilometres southeast of Hualien, with a shallow depth of 12 kilometres.