A strong earthquake rocks Taiwan, collapsing buildings and causing a tsunami

A strong earthquake rocks Taiwan, collapsing buildings and causing a tsunami

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A powerful earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in a southern city and creating a tsunami that washed ashore on southern Japanese islands.

Television showed buildings in the eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations. Islandwide train service was suspended, as was subway service in Taipei. The quake struck at 7:58 a.m. on the other side of the island from the capital, but was strong enough to knock items off shelves in the city.

Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency gave the magnitude as 7.2 while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.5. The depth was about 35 kilometers (21 miles).

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast a tsunami of up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) for the southern Japanese island group of Okinawa. A wave of 30 centimeters (about 1 feet) was detected on the coast of Yonaguni island about 15 minutes after the quake struck. JAMA said waves likely also hit the coasts of Miyako and Yaeyama islands.

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