A 7.7 earthquake strikes Taiwan, toppling buildings and triggering tsunami warnings

The island's Central Meteorological Agency highlighted that this is the most powerful earthquake they have experienced in the last 25 years.

This Wednesday, a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Taiwan, causing buildings to collapse and triggering tsunami warnings for both the island and southern Japan. Authorities confirmed the death of at least nine people.

The earthquake's epicenter was located approximately 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of the city of Hualien, where several building collapses occurred and people were reported trapped in the rubble.

Taiwanese citizens captured the moment the tremors shook their homes and businesses in videos that showed power lines swaying violently on the streets, chandeliers shaking in restaurants, and water spilling from fish tanks, among other things.

In the capital, Taipei, roof tiles were reported falling off older buildings, as well as some newer office complexes. Other parts of the island also suffered damage.

Taiwan's Ministry of Defense deployed military personnel to provide disaster assistance. Schools and workplaces suspended operations due to aftershocks that continued to hit the island.

The Central Meteorological Administration of Taiwan pointed out that this is the strongest earthquake that has affected the island in 25 years and issued a tsunami warning, recommending residents evacuate to higher areas due to the possibility of a tsunami impacting the northern coastal area of ​​the island.

At the time of this article's publication, there were no official figures on the total extent of damage or losses caused by the earthquake. However, in 1999, an earthquake of the same magnitude struck 93 miles (150 kilometers) south of Taipei, leaving 2,400 people dead and 10,000 injured.

Japan also issues alert

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued an alert for the southern islands of Miyakojima and Okinawa, warning of waves up to 3 meters (almost 10 feet) high. However, only one wave, nearly 1 foot (30 centimeters), was recorded in Okinawa.

As a precautionary measure, all flights from Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures have been suspended following tsunami warnings in the area, according to Japan Airlines.