Houston Community News >> Major Quake Hits Southern Taiwan

12/27/2006 TAIPEI (Reuters) - A major earthquake struck southern Taiwan on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami of up to one meter (3.3 feet) that could hit the Philippines, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of damage from southern Taiwan. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, which occurred at 1226 GMT, had a magnitude of 7.1 and occurred at a depth of 10 km (six miles).

The epicenter was off the Hengchun Peninsula on the island’s southern tip and 90 km south-southeast of Taiwan’s second city Kaohsiung.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau on its Web site confirmed two earthquakes, the first of 6.7 magnitude and a second of 6.4.

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Japan’s Meteorological Agency said a tsunami of up to one meter (3.3 feet) might hit the Philippines.

But Philippine authorities said there was little likelihood of the tsunami reaching its shores.

“There is no reason to raise a tsunami alert because there is no threat,” said Anthony Golez, spokesman for the government’s National Disaster Coordinating Committee.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no Pacific-wide tsunami was expected, although a local tsunami was possible.

In Taiwan television channel TVBS reported smoke, but no fire at Chinese Petroleum Corp Talin oil refinery located near Kaohsiung.

(Contributed by Reuters)