Taiwan earthquake claims 7 lives, injures 730, tsunami alert raised; India issues advisory its citizens

7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Hualien in Taiwan.

A devastating earthquake struck Taiwan on Wednesday, leaving at least seven people dead and nearly 730 injured.

The quake, with a magnitude of 7.4, was the strongest to hit the island in decades, sending shockwaves across Taiwan and prompting tsunami warnings that stretched as far as Japan and the Philippines, although these warnings were later lifted.

The quake struck just before 8:00 am local time, with its epicenter located 18 kilometers south of Taiwan’s Hualien City, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Although powerful, it was not as deadly as the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the island in September 1999, claiming around 2,400 lives.

Tsunami warnings were issued for remote Japanese islands, including Miyakojima island, where waves as high as three meters (10 feet) were anticipated. Urgent evacuation messages were broadcasted on Japanese national broadcaster NHK, urging residents to move to higher ground immediately.

Taiwan, situated near the convergence of two tectonic plates, is accustomed to seismic activity. Despite the frequency of earthquakes, strict building regulations and disaster awareness efforts have mitigated the extent of damage in this latest disaster. The island has implemented special construction techniques and stringent building codes to withstand such natural calamities.

Japan, another earthquake-prone nation, experiences around 1,500 tremors annually. However, its advanced infrastructure and sophisticated alert systems have minimised the impact of earthquakes. Nevertheless, the severity of tsunamis and the damage caused depend on various factors, including the depth of the epicenter and its location.

In response to the earthquake, India issued an advisory for its citizens in Taiwan, providing emergency helpline numbers for assistance and guidance.

The aftermath of the quake has seen widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure in Taiwan, particularly in Hualien. Search and rescue operations are underway as authorities assess the full extent of the disaster. As the island braces for potential aftershocks in the coming days, communities are urged to remain vigilant and prepared for further seismic activity.

This powerful earthquake serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable forces of nature and the importance of robust disaster preparedness measures in vulnerable regions.

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