7.4 Earthquake Strikes Taiwan

A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck off Taiwan’s eastern coast Wednesday, according to the US Geological Survey, prompting tsunami warnings for the island and southern Japan.

The quake’s epicenter is located about 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of the city of Hualien. Tremors were felt across the island, including by CNN staff in Taipei.

Reports of preliminary damage have emerged, with tilted houses in Hualien County, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.

Military personnel have been dispatched to help with disaster relief and schools and workplaces have suspended operations as aftershocks hit the island.

Footage broadcast by CNN affiliate TVBS showed how Taiwanese people captured the moment the tremors struck inside their homes and businesses. One video showed power lines swaying violently above a street, another saw chandeliers shaking in a restaurant while a third showed water spilling out of a fishbowl.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration issued a tsunami warning following the quake. A CWA alert advised residents to evacuate to higher ground as a tsunami was expected to impact the island’s northern coastal area.

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