Taiwan earthquake

Gov’t activates emergency mechanism for Macau students

An earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude struck off Taiwan’s eastern coast during rush hour yesterday morning, sending tremors felt in the capital Taipei as well as in southern Japan, eastern China and the Philippines.

Yesterday morning, the Meteorological and Geophysics Bureau (SMG) claimed the coast of Macau “could be hit by a tsunami, with a low impact.”

The earthquake, which occurred at 7:58 a.m., initially prompted tsunami warnings in Taiwan, southern Japan and the Philippines, with waves less than half a meter high observed along some coasts.

Later, all tsunami warnings in the region were lifted.

SMG reported the earthquake was recorded with an epicenter located around 838 kilometers east-northeast of Macau.

The Hong Kong observatory said more than 100 residents reported feeling the tremors for several seconds.

Meanwhile, the local government has activated an emergency mechanism and contacted Macau students studying in Hualien following the earthquake – the strongest in a quarter-century.

According to the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ), local students residing on the island said they are safe and do not need help at the moment.

DSEDJ data shows 20 Macau students studying in universities in Hualien County, the epicenter of the quake.

The DSEDJ said it has contacted associations that serve Macau students in Taiwan to assess the current situation.

Speaking to TDM, director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said authorities have not received any calls for assistance.

In Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings as the earthquake shook the city, and schools evacuated their students to sports fields, equipping them with yellow safety helmets.

Government statistics revealed nine people were killed,  1,011 were injured and 77 stranded.

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