Massive earthquakes hit Taiwan: Warning of possible three-metre tsunami after 7.5 magnitude quake and strong aftershocks rock Asian island, downing several buildings

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By Jon Brady

Published: 01:16 BST, 3 April 2024 | Updated: 01:35 BST, 3 April 2024

A massive 7.5-magnitude earthquake has hit Taiwan, sparking fears of three-metre tall tsunami waves affecting Japan's southern islands.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has issued a tsunami alert for the southern islands of the Far Eastern country following the tremor, which happened shortly before 9am Japanese local time (12am GMT, 1am UK time).

A post from the JMA's disaster preparation account on X, formerly Twitter, has warned those in the affected areas not to leave designated safe zones until given the all clear.

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.'

The JMA says the Okinawa and Miyajokima and Yaeyama island groupings are at risk of tsunamis up to three metres (10feet) high.

Multiple videos were shared of damage to Hualien, a city on the east coast of Taiwan close to the epicentre of the quake. 

In several images, a large red glass-fronted tower block was seen to have partially collapsed, keeling over towards the ground and resting at an angle as shocked onlookers watched on.

Another video of webcam in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei showed the camera being juddered by the convulsions.

This is a breaking story, more to follow.

The quake struck shortly before 9am Japan time (12am GMT, 1am UK time) on Taiwan's eastern edge, south of the coastal city of Hualien

A map issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) shows the epicentre of the earthquake off the coast of Taiwan (the 'x' symbol) as well as the islands most likely to be affected, highlighted in red

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