A powerful earthquake jolted Taiwan early Wednesday, resulting in four fatalities, dozens of injuries, and the collapse of buildings across the island. The epicenter, located in Hualien, saw significant damage, with over 26 structures crumbled, trapping approximately 20 individuals.

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Images circulating on social media depict the devastation, including a five-story building in Hualien leaning precariously after its first floor collapsed. In the capital, Taipei, older buildings shed tiles, while newer office complexes also showed signs of damage. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the quake as a magnitude 7.5, while Taiwan's monitoring agency upgraded it to 7.7. The tremors were felt as far as Kinmen, near China's coast.

Moreover, a tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas in Japan, with waves exceeding 9 feet reported in some regions.Following the earthquake that rocked Taiwan, train services across the island, home to 23 million people, were brought to a halt. Despite the disruption, in Taipei, the morning routine continued as usual, with children heading to school and commuters navigating their way through the city.

In the wake of the seismic activity, the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center initiated a review to assess the potential threat of a tsunami impacting the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington, along with Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia. However, reassurance came swiftly as the agency confirmed, "Tsunami NOT expected," mere minutes later. Similarly, Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency conveyed that there was no tsunami risk for the state.

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This earthquake, believed to be the most significant in Taiwan since the devastating tremor of 1999, has once again underscored the seismic vulnerability of the region. Situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a volatile zone characterized by numerous seismic faults, Taiwan experiences frequent seismic activity. As one of the world's most earthquake-prone areas, this event serves as a stark reminder of the constant threat posed by natural disasters in the region.