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Earthquake hits Japan, sets off tsunami warning

A powerful earthquake off Taiwan sent buildings shaking, causing a temporary tsunami warning on Monday.

Residents in the capital city of Taipei were greeted with a strong earthquake in the early hours of Monday as the quake hit 71 kilometers (44 miles) east of Hualien,Taiwan.

Japanese forecasters said the 6.6 magnitude earthquake had the potential to cause a 1 meter high tsunami around the islands in the Okinawa chain.

There was no damage reported in Japan, however, the electrical box of one residential building exploded and caught fire killing a 65-year-old man and sending an 18-year-old to hospital for smoke inhalation. Residents and office workers were evacuated from building in central Taipei.

Local authorities urged people to seek higher ground.

Satoshi Shimoji of the Miyako City government told NHK after the alert was issued, “We are issuing warnings via the radio. We want residents to get as far as possible from the sea.”
With the warning came numerous residents who headed out to sea in their boats, a common practice for a tsunami warning. When at sea, a tsunami is not much different than a swell.

Due to strict building regulations in Japan, earthquakes do not generally cause damage, however, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that officials were still collecting information.

With no abnormal waves recorded, the Japan Meteorological Agency lifted the tsunami warning.

Kuo Kai-wen, chief of Taiwan’s Seismology Center, warned there could be more quakes.

“This was the third quake measuring more than 6.0 magnitude in Taiwan so far this year — we would not rule out the likelihood that there might be more strong quakes of this scale.”


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