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A powerful earthquake struck off southwestern Taiwan on Tuesday, triggering a potentially destructive tsunami that was headed toward the Philippines on the second anniversary of the deadly waves that killed thousands in south Asia.


The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of between 6.7 and 7.2, was felt throughout Taiwan. It swayed buildings and knocked objects off the shelves in the capital, Taipei.


No damage or injuries were immediately reported.


Japan's Meteorological Bureau said a 3-foot-high tsunami was expected to hit Basco in the Philippines.


"There is a possibility of a destructive local tsunami," the bureau said. "However at some coasts, particularly those near the epicenter, higher tsunami may arrive."


The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami, based on historical earthquake and tsunami data, but that they would not know for about an hour what the threat might be to Taiwan or the Philippines.


Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said the quake measured magnitude 6.7; the U.S. Geological Survey estimated it at 7.1; and the Japanese bureau put it at magnitude 7.2.


Temblors of magnitude 7 or higher are generally classified as major earthquakes, capable of widespread, heavy damage.


The Central Weather Bureau said a 6.4 magnitude aftershock struck a nearby area about nine minutes later.


The initial tremor was centered at sea about 13 miles southwest of Hengchun on the southern tip of Taiwan, the bureau said. Hengchun is about 260 miles south of Taipei.


A magnitude 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004 caused a tsunami that killed at least 230,000 people in 11 countries. Those waves reached as high as 33 feet.


Unlike wind-driven surface waves, tsunamis are caused by seismic activity such as undersea earthquakes, landslides or volcanoes.


That means tsunamis are deep, reaching all the way to the seafloor, so that when they reach land they are forced upward into sometimes towering walls of water that can inundate coastal communities.

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BBC News is reporting that the danger of a tsunami for the PI has passed and no Pacific Wide warning has been issued.

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Correct Braveheart :P


They were only warning of 4/5 foot waves anyway. It seems after the last one, and the lack of warning they are playing it ultra safe now :P



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I understand that. After the last quake off the coast of Japan they had warnings out for the west coast of the US and Canada! :P

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