Powerful earthquake shakes Taiwan, prompts Tsunami Warnings across western Pacific

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TAIPEI, Taiwan – An earthquake struck Wednesday on the eastern coast of Taiwan, prompting officials in regions around the island to warn of a potential tsunami.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude 7.4 quake hit just before 8 a.m. (just before 8 p.m. Eastern Tuesday) about 11 miles to the south-southwest of Hualien City. It was followed about 15 minutes later by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake about 7 miles northeast of Hualien City.

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NOAA’s Tsunami Warning System said there does not appear to be a threat to Hawaii, any U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean or the West Coast.

According to the agency, tsunami waves could be as high as 9 feet above tide level along the coasts of China and Taiwan, while waves as high as 3 feet above tide level in Japan. Smaller waves are expected in places such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam.

Tsunami alerts were issued in Japan for the Okinawa prefecture.

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