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An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale hit off the coast of Taiwan before 9 am Japanese local time on Wednesday, said the Japan Meteorological Agency, reported news agency AFP. The earthquake prompted a tsunami warning for southern Japanese islands with waves expected to be as high as three metres, or 9.8 feet, likely to hit the island of Miyakojima, the AFP report added. 

According to the Japan Times, tsunami warning was issued for Okinawa also and the officials urged those in affected areas to evacuate to higher ground immediately. 

A similar tsunami warning was issued by Taiwan as well where television stations ran footage of buildings in the eastern city of Hualien shaking off their foundations, according to an Associated Press report, adding that the tremors were felt in the capital Taipei also. 

The quake could be felt as far as Shanghai, reported Reuters quoting a witness. People in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in China’s Fujian province also felt the tremors, as per Chinese state media.

As per the Taiwan central weather administration, the epicentre of earthquake was located just off the coast of eastern county of Hualien, in waters off eastern coastline of Taiwan Island. 

A warning was also issued by the Philippines Seismology Agency for residents in in coastal areas of several provinces, urging them to evacuate to higher ground, the Reuters report added. 

The Taiwanese government has so far not received any reports of damage and the Mass Rapid Transit in Taipei also resumed soon after. The Southern Taiwan Science Park, which hosts semiconductor giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s plant also said that the companies were operating without impact. 

The central news agency of Taiwan said the quake was the biggest to hit the island since 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude tremor killed around 2,400 people.

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