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Powerful quake hits Taiwan and Japan

Powerful quake hits Taiwan and Japan

TAIPEI: One man died and another was hospitalised on Monday after a fire caused by a powerful quake off Taiwan that set buildings shaking in the capital Taipei and sparked a short-lived tsunami warning in far southwestern Japan.

Japanese forecasters had warned the 6.6 magnitude earthquake could cause a tsunami as high as one metre (three feet) affecting several islands in the Okinawa chain. But they lifted the alert around an hour later, with no abnormal waves recorded. No damage was reported in Japan, but a four-storey apartment building in New Taipei City caught fire after an electrical box outside the block exploded in the quake.

A 65-year-old man who lived in the building “showed no signs of life” at the scene, the fire service said. Another 18-year-old resident remains in hospital with smoke inhalation but is not in a serious condition, the fire service said.

Residents and office workers were evacuated from a building in central Taipei because of a feared gas leak and vehicles in a nearby multi-storey carpark were overturned, but no one was injured.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2015

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