Japan agency: 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits near Taiwan

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The United States Geological Survey says the quake has a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicentre 18 kilometres south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 km. – AFP file photo

TAIPEI (April 3): A major 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Taiwan shortly before 9:00 am Japanese local time (0000 GMT) Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings for southern Japanese islands, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

Tsunami waves as high as three metres (10 feet) were expected immediately for remote Japanese islands near Taiwan, including Miyakojima island, the agency said.

“Evacuate!” said a banner on national broadcaster NHK.

“Tsunami is coming. Please evacuate immediately,” an anchor on NHK said. “Do not stop. Do not go back.”

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicentre 18 kilometres south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 km. – AFP