Tsunami alert called off as quake off hits Taiwan instead

Although no damages were recorded in Japan, a four-storey apartment building in part of New Taipei City in Taiwan caught fire after an electrical box outside the block exploded in the quake.

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A powerful quake off which had initially sparked a short-lived tsunami warning in far Japan has hit Taiwan killing one man and hospitalising another.

According to Al Jazeera, Japanese forecasters had today, Monday warned the 6.6 magnitude earthquake could cause a tsunami as high as one metre affecting several islands in the Okinawa chain.

The alert was however lifted about an hour later, with no abnormal waves recorded. But although no damages were recorded in Japan, a four-storey apartment building in part of New Taipei City in Taiwan caught fire after an electrical box outside the block exploded in the quake.

An elderly man was reportedly found on the scene of the blaze and he "showed no signs of life", while another resident was hospitalised after choking in the blaze.

The US Geological Survey said the quake, which Japanese authorities had originally put at 6.8 struck 71km east of Hualian, Taiwan at 01:43 GMT.

Japan sits at the confluence of four of the earth's tectonic plates and registers more than 20 percent of the planet's most powerful earthquakes every year.

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