Powerful 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Taiwan, Collapsing Buildings and Causing Landslides as Tsunami Warnings Issued Across the Region [VIDEOS]

Taiwan's Central Weather Administration agency reported that the earthquake, measuring 7.7 at the epicenter, was felt throughout the entire island nation.

A powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, triggering landslides and collapsing buildings and sparking a tsunami warning in southern Japan and the Philippines. The strongest earthquake to hit the island has killed at least one and injured more than 50 people. The earthquake's epicenter is around 11 miles south of the popular tourist destination of Hualien.

Following the tremor, which occurred shortly before 9 am local time on Wednesday morning (8 pm New York, 1 am UK, 11 am Sydney), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a tsunami alert for the southern islands of the Far East country. Train lines were damaged, and schools and workplaces across the city were closed.

Taiwan Shakes

Taiwan earthquake
A tower seen collapsing in Taipei after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan X

Multiple videos showing the extent of the damage suffered in Hualien, a city situated on the east coast of Taiwan near the epicenter of the earthquake, were widely circulated. The videos showed collapsed buildings and landslides causing large clouds of dirt and dust.

Taiwan's Central Weather Administration agency reported that the earthquake, measuring 7.7 at the epicenter, was felt throughout the entire island nation. Following the initial quake, several aftershocks with magnitudes exceeding 6.0 were recorded.

The earthquake is possibly the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years since a deadly 7.7-magnitude earthquake in 1999 claimed the lives of around 2,400 people. Currently, it remains unclear if there are any casualties resulting from the latest quake. Some reports claim one person died.

Neighboring countries issued tsunami alerts and advised residents to prepare for evacuation or seek refuge in safe zones.

Following the tremors, a 3.3ft (one-meter) tsunami wave struck the coast of Taiwan, although it remained unclear if it resulted in any damage. The JMA reported a 1ft wave reaching the Japanese island of Yonaguni at 9:18 am Japan time.

The Philippines' weather agency also issued warnings to residents in coastal areas to prepare for potential evacuation. It is now believed that the worst of the tsunami danger has subsided.

Harrowing Scenes

In several images from Hualien, located on Taiwan's eastern coast, a prominent red glass-fronted tower block was seen to have partially collapsed, leaning towards the ground and resting at an angle, as shocked bystanders looked on.

Taiwan earthquake
Taiwan earthquake X

Another building, which reportedly housed a cafe, partially collapsed, resulting in the ground floor being crushed. Local were seen carrying children out of the first-floor window to safety.

The tremors were felt across Taiwan, reaching as far as the capital Taipei at the island's northern tip, where a webcam video captured the view being shaken by the convulsions.

Some public transport services were temporarily halted while inspections were conducted on the railways, including in Taipei.

However, according to the AP news agency, transport services quickly resumed to normal in the capital, with children attending school and the morning commute proceeding as usual after the tremors.

A post from the Japan Meteorological Agency's disaster preparation account on X, formerly Twitter, cautioned people in the affected areas not to leave designated safe zones until they received the all-clear signal.

A translation of the tweet read: "As of 09:01 on the 3rd, a tsunami warning has been issued. Tsunamis strike repeatedly. Do not leave your safe area until the warning has been lifted."