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Quake Shakes Buildings in Taipei, Triggering Tsunami Warnings

Quake Shakes Buildings in Taipei, Triggering Tsunami Warnings
The Taipei 101 building and other buildings in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo: Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan has been hit by the strongest earthquake in a quarter of a century, with shocks from the temblor shaking buildings in the capital Taipei and leading to tsunami warnings along the coasts. 

The quake hit at 7:58 a.m. local time Wednesday and measured 7.4 in magnitude, according to the US Geological Survey, which said it was located 18 kilometers from Hualien City, in the island’s east. Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration gauged the event at 7.2 on the Richter scale.

It’s the biggest seismic event by magnitude since 1999, when the so-called 921 quake hit the island and killed more than 2,000 people, Taiwan weather authorities said during a press conference. There have been several aftershocks clustered on the island’s east coast.

Taiwan is of paramount importance to the global economy and markets, and is primarily recognized for producing most of the world’s advanced semiconductors. Its flagship firm Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. — the world’s largest contract chipmaker — said it had moved some staff out of its production centers. The company, a major supplier of chips to Apple Inc. and Nvidia Corp., is still assessing the impact from the quake.

Taiwan’s Taiex Index fell 0.4% at market open on Wednesday, about an hour after the earthquake hit. The local dollar traded 0.1% higher against the greenback.

Follow Our Live Blog: Tsunami Warning Issued as Earthquake Shakes Taiwan: TOPLive

Hualien announced plans to shut down offices and schools Wednesday in the wake of the event. The island’s power provider, meanwhile, said nuclear power plant operations remain normal and power distribution in Taiwan had stabilized.

Tsunami waves reaching 1-to-3 meters were possible along some coasts of China and Taiwan, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. People on the Chinese social platform Weibo said they felt the quake all across China, including in Shanghai and Guangdong.

A tsunami warning was also issued for southwestern Japan’s Okinawa prefecture after the region was rocked by the quake. Local residents were urged to evacuate from an expected tsunami of as high as 3 meters, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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