A powerful earthquake hit Taiwan

A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Taiwan on Sunday, according to the United States Institute of Geological Studies (USGS) leading Japan to issue a tsunami warning.

The epicenter of the earthquake, which occurred shortly after 2:44 p.m. local time (8:44 a.m. Swiss), was located about 50 km north of the city of Taitung, at a depth of 10 km, the USGS said.

Stronger than Saturday

The earthquake’s power was rated at 7.2 by the USGS, which later downgraded it to 6.9.

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.

The day before, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake had hit the same area and several tremors followed. That of Sunday is however by far the strongest.

Risk of tsunami around

Japan’s Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami warning for islands near Taiwan. Waves up to one meter high are expected in the morning (Swiss time), she said.

The China Seismic Network Center said tremors were felt in coastal regions, including Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanghai.

The Effects of the “Ring of Fire”

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.

Leave a Comment