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Magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes Taiwan (VIDEOS)

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan on Wednesday morning, damaging buildings and prompting a tsunami warning. 

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The earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien Country at 7:58 am local time and was felt across the island, including its capital Taipei, officials said.

At least four people were killed and 97 injured, Taiwan’s fire department said. Local media reported that some people may still be trapped in their homes.

Wu Chien-fu, the head of the Central Weather Administration’s Seismological Center, said it was the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan since 1999. 

Several tall buildings have partially collapsed. In other regions, shockwaves have triggered landslides. 

Videos posted to social media show multi-story buildings dangerously leaning to one side.

Offices and schools have been shut down in Hualien, along with high-speed rail services in several cities. 

The quake was also felt in several cities of mainland China, including Shanghai, according to Global Times.

Tsunami alerts were issued for southern Japan and northern areas of the Philippines. Naha Airport on Japan’s Okinawa Island has suspended all flights. 

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that small tsunamis have reached the southern islands of Yonaguni, Ishigaki and Miyako. It said national meteorological services initially projected a tsunami of up to 3 meters, but later downgraded the projection to 1 meter.

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