Japan issued an evacuation advisory for the coastal areas near the southern prefecture of Okinawa after a powerful earthquake near Taiwan triggered a tsunami warning Wednesday morning.

A tsunami of up to three meters was expected to reach Japan’s southwestern coast around 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. A 0.3-metre tsunami reached Yonaguni Island at 9:18 a.m. (0018 GMT), JMA said.

The warning came after a very shallow earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 struck in the ocean off the coast of Taiwan, rocking the entire island and collapsing buildings.

Television showed buildings in the eastern city of Hualien shaken off their foundations. The quake came at 7:58 a.m. and could be felt in the capital Taipei.

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The strong quake knocked out power in several parts of Taipei, according to a Reuters witness.

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Earthquakes and tsunamis are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest quake in Japan on record, and a massive tsunami. Those events triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

Japan was rocked by its deadliest quake in eight years on New Year’s Day when a 7.6 magnitude temblor struck in Ishikawa prefecture, on the western coast. More than 230 people died in the quake that left 44,000 homes fully or partially destroyed. Five people remain missing, according to local officials.

—With files from the Associated Press and Global News

Click to play video: 'Japan approves $33M for earthquake recovery efforts in devastated communities'

Japan approves $33M for earthquake recovery efforts in devastated communities


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