Japan’s meteorological agency has lifted a tsunami advisory for Okinawa Prefecture. However, officials are urging residents to stay alert, with more tremors likely.

According to NHK, waves of up to 3 meters were initially forecast to reach Yonaguni Island at around 9:10 a.m. At approximately 9:18 a.m., waves measuring up to 30 centimeters were detected there. At 9:52 and 10:08 a.m., 20-centimeter waves reached Ishigaki and Miyako islands. 

Current Tsunami Updates

At 10:40 a.m., Japan’s Meteorological Agency downgraded the warning to a tsunami advisory. That has since been lifted. Flights from Naha Airport resumed after being temporarily being suspended. People in the area have been urged not to go to the coast and evacuate to higher ground.

The warning came after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Taiwan at 8:58 a.m. (Japan time) on Wednesday morning. The largest to hit there in a quarter of a century, it registered over 4 on Japan’s shindo seismic intensity scale.  According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake originated 18 kilometers south-southwest of Hualien, at a depth of 34.8 kilometers.

Local media reported that it caused some buildings to collapse in Taiwan’s Hualien County. At least nine people have been killed, while more than  1,000 have been reported injured. Over 100 citizens were trapped in collapsed tunnels and on mountainous roads. The road outside the Qingshui tunnel simply fell away. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen set up an emergency response office and informed reporters that the military is being dispatched to quake-hit areas for relief operations.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent out a message to Taiwanese citizens on X. “To the people of Taiwan,” he wrote, “I am deeply saddened to hear that a large earthquake has occurred in eastern Taiwan, causing extensive damage. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathies to those affected.” Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked Kishida for his “heartwarming words,” adding that Taiwan and Japan “face similar problems, which have fostered deep understanding and strong bonds between our people. We sincerely appreciate the consideration and support from our neighboring country.”

This is a breaking story. We will bring you more news as it develops. 

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