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Tsunami warning raised over Northern Luzon after Taiwan quake

by Carl Santos

A MAJOR earthquake struck Taiwan shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, prompting the Philippines to issue a tsunami warning for people living in parts of Northern Luzon that lasted about two hours.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4, with its epicentre 18 kilometres (11 miles) south of Taiwan’s Hualien City at a depth of 34.8 km.

Both the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) put the magnitude at 7.5.

”Based on tsunami wave models and early tide gauge records of the tsunami in the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, coastal areas in the Philippines fronting the Pacific Ocean are expected to experience high tsunami waves. It is forecasted that the first tsunami waves will arrive between 8:33 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. on April 3, 2024 (PST). It may not be the largest, and these waves may continue for hours,” PHIVOLCS said.

The tsunami warning was lifted at 10:33 a.m.

“Based on available data of our sea level monitoring stations facing the epicentral area, no significant sea level disturbances have been recorded since 7:58 a.m. up until this cancellation,” PHIVOLCS said.

“With this, any effects due to the tsunami warning have largely passed and therefore DOST-PHIVOLCS has now canceled all Tsunami Warnings issued for this event,” it added.

PHIVOLCS earlier ”strongly advised” the residents in the coastal areas of the following provinces to immediately evacuate to higher grounds or move farther inland:

Batanes Group of Islands
llocos Norte

”Owners of boats in harbors, estuaries, or shallow coastal waters of the above-mentioned provinces should secure their boats and move away from the waterfront. Boats already at sea during this period should stay offshore in deep waters until further advised,” it added.

Tsunami warnings were also issued in Taiwan and Japan.

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

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

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

Live TV footage from the Okinawa region’s ports, including Naha, showed vessels heading out to sea, possibly in efforts to protect their ships.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes because the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates.

A 7.6-magnitude jolt hit Taiwan in September 1999, killing around 2,400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island’s history.

with a report from Agence France-Presse



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