Man killed in fire as 6.6 earthquake hits off Japan coast
Published 20/04/2015 | 07:57
A man has died in a blaze sparked by a strong undersea earthquake which struck between Taiwan and southern Japan, authorities said.
The quake triggered an advisory for a tsunami of up to 3ft (1m) in Japan which was lifted after just over an hour. It caused buildings in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei to sway, and people there rushed into the streets.
A man was killed in a house fire in the Taipei suburb of Xinzhuang which was sparked by the explosion of an electricity transformer box due to the quake, Taiwan's fire and rescue agency said in a statement.
Footage from Taiwanese television broadcaster TBS showed signs and lights swinging from the ceiling of a newsroom in Taipei. Fire crews sealed off a multi-storey car park in central Taipei after the mechanical parking tower failed, damaging 11 cars.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the magnitude-6.8 quake's epicentre was at a shallow point in seas east of Taiwan and south of Okinawa, near the Yonaguni islands. It said no tsunami was detected.
Television footage of the area showed calm seas, but as a precaution schoolchildren in some low-lying parts of islands in the region were evacuated to safer locations.
Japan reacts intensely to tsunami risks following the massive destruction caused by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 18,500 people.